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Saturday, June 28, 2008

Baby Boy Edison

Christy writes:
I had my big ultrasound this morning and we found out that we are having a second son. Yikes. Boy names are so hard, and I don't know how you managed to come up with four of them.

Our last name is really close to "Edison" and our first son is Soren Kyle. My husband is very proud of the fact that Soren falls somewhere in the 900s on the Social Security list for 2006 - he refuses to use a common name. We are NOT Scandinavian (mostly German and Irish), so I don't necessarily want another screamingly Scandinavian name, but I still want something that "fits" with Soren's name. Here's our measly list of possibilities:

  • Liam: I think it might be a little more trendy than my husband realizes, but he likes it and so do I. If I had to name the baby today, this would probably be my choice...but I don't love it.
  • Finnigan (Finn): This is my husband's newest fixation. My feelings about it are similar to my feelings about Penelope, his girl name obsession - part of my really likes it, and the other part thinks that perhaps it's just a bit too much for the world to handle.
  • Isaac: We had settled on this for a 2nd boy before this baby was ever conceived...and then this acquaintance/friend of my husbands who lives across the country used it - now it seems too common to him.
  • Richard: This is my father's name and also my husband's grandfather's name. I've never liked it, but recently it just keeps popping up in my mind - his grandpa is a great man who is dying and loves our first son and would be REALLY honored to have a namesake. If we used this, we'd probably use Alan, Grandpa's middle name, as well. My concerns: I'm not sure the world of names is ready for the return of Richard and not sure if it's too closely tied to the nn "Dick" in peoples minds. If we don't use it as a first name, I'd like to throw it in as a middle name, though I wouldn't eliminate an otherwise great first name that doesn't work with it.

Here are some of the girls names we were considering before we found out that we're having a boy. Maybe they'll spark some other suggestions? Here's the list:


That's all we've got. Help!

Indeed, let's not tell your husband that the name Liam broke into the Top 100 in 2006. It's a great name, and what he doesn't know won't hurt him---especially since, as you say and I heartily agree, boy names are SO HARD. Liam is good with Soren, and good with your last name: Liam Edison.

I think if you used the name Richard you could steer people away from the unfortunate nickname: people would WANT to avoid it. Perhaps you could switch your husband's grandpa's first and middle names, and go with Alan Richard? Alan is out of the Top 100 and seems to be in a holding pattern there. But neither Richard nor Alan seems like a good style match with Soren.

Here are a few more suggestions (ranking source: Social Security Administration):

Archer (not in Top 1000); Soren and Archer Edison
Callum (not in Top 1000); Soren and Callum Edison
Griffin (#242 in 2007); Soren and Griffin Edison
Jasper (#471 in 2007); Soren and Jasper Edison
Malcolm (#565 in 2007); Soren and Malcolm Edison
Oscar (#121 in 2007); Soren and Oscar Edison
Ruben (#245 in 2007; Reuben is #939); Soren and Ruben Edison
Tobin (not in Top 1000); Soren and Tobin Edison

From that list, my favorites are Jasper, Ruben, and Tobin. Jasper Richard Edison (JRE) sounds great to me, and so does Tobin Richard Edison (TRE). With Ruben, I might use Isaac: Ruben Isaac Edison (RIE).

Vote in the poll at right: [poll closed; see below] what would you name Soren Edison's little brother? That's a long list of options, so why don't you choose two or three if you want to.

[Poll results (266 votes total):
Liam: 36 votes, roughly 14%
Finnegan: 29 votes, roughly 11%
Richard Alan: 12 votes, roughly 5%
Alan Richard: 4 votes, roughly 2%
Archer: 28 votes, roughly 11%
Callum: 31 votes, roughly 12%
Griffin: 16 votes, roughly 6%
Jasper: 46 votes, roughly 17%
Malcolm: 18 votes, roughly 7%
Oscar: 14 votes, roughly 5%
Ruben: 9 votes, roughly 3%
Tobin: 23 votes, roughly 9%]

Name update! Christy writes:
Here is a long overdue update on my baby's (who is now nearly one and fast approaching non-babyhood!) name: Richard Alan. My husband's grandpa did die about two months before Richard was born, and it just seemed appropriate. He goes by Richard publicly, but we've taken to calling him Richie among our little family. The name has really grown on me.

Thanks for all your help!


Fiona Picklebottom said...

I actually really like Finn, but I think I'd just use that and avoid Finnegan, since

There was an old man named Michael Finnegan
He had whiskers on his chinnegan
They fell out and then grew in again
Poor old Michael Finnegan
Begin again.

I'm just sayin'.

Jenn said...

I like Finn Edison but not Finnegan Edison - that seems like a mouthful. SO I didn't vote for Finnegan, even though I do like Finn. I think it's a great name for a kid, but also for a grown man.

Barb @ getupandplay said...

I would definitely use Richard or Alan as a middle name no matter what. What a wonderful and sweet tribute to your Grandpa.

Maggie2 said...

I know sooo many baby Finn's (or Phinn's from Phinneas) up here in Canada. I think it's really on the upward swing towards popularity, and thus would avoid it. I like Tobin, what a great choice, and nice with Soren.
Love the list of girls names, too -- lots of my favourites!

Kate said...

I would avoid using Finnegan as it reminds me of the medicine phenergan when you say it out loud. That is not a pleasant thing to be reminded of by a child's name. I love the name Finn though, so maybe just the shortened version.

I also am partial to Jasper and it was my grandfather's name and plan to use it when I have a boy. Archer is also unique and cute! Nice alternate to Asher I think. Anyway, my votes were for Jasper and Archer.

Mayberry said...

Oooh, Malcolm! Malcolm Richard Edison.

Anonymous said...

Love, love, love the name Tobin Richard. (Am partial to Richard, I married one.)Callum and Archer are tied for second place.

Beth said...

I like Griffin. And using the nn Fin. Have you thought of that?

Alison said...

What about Fletcher? Soren and Fletcher Edison. It's similar in style to Archer. Of the choices available in the poll, I'm edging away from Ruben and Tobin because they have that "en" sound at the end like Soren. It's too much for me. I love Finn (knew a great guy who went by Finn) but agree that Finnegan Edison is a mouthfull. I think I'd have to choose Jasper and Archer off the list. Tough choices!

Nowheymama said...

IF you used Richard, and IF people felt the need to nickname him, I think it is much more likely they'd say "Rich" or "Rick."

Nicole Z said...

I think Richard is actually the least common name on your potential list, at least around me. I really like it for the sentimental significance and also for the nickname Ritchie. Ritchie has a great 1950's, "hip to be square" vibe to it and would be really refreshing among all the surnamed little boys. It's not a perfect stylistic match with Soren, but it matches his unexpectedness.

Both Finn and Liam are a dime a dozen around me. Your husband will be sorely disappointed if you use either of those.

Isaac just doesn't appeal to me.

Soren is kind of a soft boys name for me, so here are few more less common, softer names to ponder: Sebastien, Ezra, Josiah, Milo, Oliver.

Good luck!

Mairzy said...

I like Finnegan, too, but as someone else remarked, it is a mouthful.

I like Malcolm. Richard is not a great favorite, but it's actually a good solid name. Rich is a great nickname.

I love Tobin, and can't get my husband to consider it. So use Tobin.

Of your girls, I like Miriam and Marina. (Fiona is lovely, also, but not very uncommon.)

Your husband has quirky taste... but pretty cool at that.

Jan said...

I prefer non "n" ending names with your ln so I voted for Oscar. The only thing is that it was embroidered on a blanket in the last PB Kids catalog...ah, the kiss of death. I also like Oliver, but maybe I have a thing for O names.

Rather than Tobin how about Tobias?

Mairzy said...

For a girl, you could consider Mariel also.

Snoopyfan said...

Love, love, love Griffin!!!!! (My son's name so maybe I am biased.) :)

Kathleen @ Katydid & Kid said...

Hey! I came across your blog searching for the name Soren, which is what we just named our son who was born 3 months ago (my husband likes Soren Kierkegaard, the Danish philosopher). I wanted the names Oliver, Weston, Arden or Evan, but he thought they were all too girly. We kind of agreed that he'd take the lead on boys names and I'd do the girls names if we were having a girl. Anyway...I like the name Tobin best, but Liam is not bad either. I do think it's a pretty popular name in my area, which is fine if you don't mind. I always think about when kids are in school and there are 4 Jaden's in the class. Congratulations!

brooke said...

Soren is a fun name to work with. Of the names listed Tobin Richard gets my vote. Archer is also handsome.

I know the list is really long already, but I thought I would throw out a few more :)

Rhodes Alan (not listed)
Leo Richard* same vibe as Liam, but less popular (238).
Lionel Richard if you are feeling bold (996)
West Richard (unlisted - Westley could work too)
Orion Richard (545)
Anders Richard (unlisted, but might be too Swedish)
Anton Richard (844)
Cormac Alan (unlisted)

best wishes,

Anonymous said...

I really like kind of has the same style as Liam, but without the popularity.

The only problem would be pronouncing it.

Hope said...

I like Griffin the best. If you wanted to you could call him Fin, and not have to strap him with Finnegan. Also, how cute is the nn Griff? Griffin Richard.

My father's name is also Richard, and unfortunately I do feel like it's too outdated for a first name(my mother's name is Marsha! Eek!), but I do love the nicknames Rich or Richie.

Tobin is too similar to Soren for me.

I also like Oliver and Oscar with Soren.

Katie said...

I think Richard is a very sweet tribute to both his grandfather and great-grandfather, but it doesn't match in style with Soren. If you were to use Richard, how about a snappy nickname? I think Rocco could be plausible, or Roscoe. I love Roscoe Edison, now that I think about it. Ricky has grown on me as well, after knowing an Eric who went by it.

If there aren't any good Richard names out there (and really, it only needs a tenuous connection to work), I'd definitely use it as a middle name. All of Swistle's suggestions sound nice with it, with the exception of Archer, which would be a mouthful.

Leslie said...

I voted for Richard Alan and for Jasper. I love the idea of honoring your grandfather, and Richard is a fantastic name. The Richards I know go by Rick or Richard (no nickname), so I think the unfortunate Dick will be very easy to avoid.

As for Jasper, I've always liked the name, and I think it sounds fantastic with Soren. Plus, Jasper Richard Edison is just a delightful full name!

Best of luck whatever you decide!

Angie said...

I voted for Malcolm, but when I voted, I got one of those, "This webpage cannot be displayed" messages, and I don't know if my vote was counted : ( I also really like Fletcher.

An observation I have on "uncommon" names: Since more and more parents are trying to be unique, "uncommon" names are more common than they may be perceived or end up zooming up the charts. Remember when Ava was considered unique?

In my own situation, I named my daughter Fiona thinking it was different, only to see it on more and more expectant parent's short lists - including yours. At least I still like the name.

Anyway, I bring this up only to say that Richard, which may seem common because it is common on 50-70 something men, is actually probably the most unique name on your list as far as new babies are concerned. I recently found out that Susan, very common for baby boomer woman, is actually ranking in the 600's now for new babies. Dated may be the way to go, if you want to be different.

Angie said...

Oh - it's me again. Not that it matters since you are having a boy anyway, but I have to note something else about your concern that Penelope is too much for this world. I'm seeing Penelope on more and more expectant parents short lists too. I hear so many people rave about how adorable Penny is for a nick name. So to conclude, Penelope, in my opinion is not too much for this world, but is an up- and-coming name. Just the weekend, my friend was telling me about her parent's friends who just had a baby and named her Penelope. Penelope Cruz might be partially responsible for getting people more comfortable with the name. I personally would like it if NOT for the annoying nick name Penny. All of the buzz might actually discourage your husband from using the name should you ever have another child and it's a girl.

Swistle said...

Angie- The poll switches from options to results after it records a vote. So if it still shows you check-boxes, it hasn't counted your vote yet; but if it's showing the percentages, it got it.

McWriter said...

How about Galen?

MzEll said...

So, I love Archer, Oscar, and Roben with Soren because of the repeating R sounds. Ruben Isaac is really gorgeous. Ruben means "behold, a son" and Isaac means laughter. How beautiful!

vowelgirl said...

Another option for you along the Finn line could be Finlay. Soren and Finlay, sounds good! I associate Finnigan with a dog puppet (thanks to Canadian childhood TV - but that is surely a localised association).

Kris said...

I love the name Finn, but not Finnegan. Just use Finn if you're not sure "the world could handle it."

Sara said...

Just wanted to say that my brother (now 29) is named 'Richard Alan'! and he never had any problems with the 'Dick' nickname. My dad's name is also Richard, and at family reunions, his uncles (the old guys there) DID call my dad 'Dickie'. I always thought it was hilarious and asked my mom if I could call my brother that. Her answer - 'Absolutely NOT'. My brother was Ricky when he was little, and I may very well be the only one left who still calls him that... since he's still my 'little' brother and all...

Anonymous said...

Instead of Finn, how about Flynn?

Or Gavin would work well.

Regarding Penelope/Penny, I certainly don't think it's too much of a name for the world to handle. I have a 5 yr old named Penelope. She goes by both her given name and her nick name of Penny. But yeah, I'd like for people to keep it off their lists ;-)

Anonymous said...

Abram is like Isaac, and pretty uncommon. It's not to everyone's taste, though.