I'm so glad you agree that naming a boy is difficult. We have an 17 month old daughter whose name is Alexandra Rose. A lovely name, I think. She is generally called Ally, although I love all of her nickname-potential, including Alex.
So, I'm pregnant with a boy, due at the end of September. While we named Alexandra by 22 weeks, we absolutely cannot decide on a name for this little man. I like Luke. We both like Luke. In fact, if Alexandra was a boy, she would have been Luke. That, my husband says, means we cannot name this baby Luke. Because we already used it. Or because its a second-hand name or something. Whatever - I know - but I'm married to him. What's your opinion on this? (I think if I kicked and screamed, he'd go with Luke, but I would like us to both love our baby's name. Not merely tolerate it!)
He likes Michael Patrick. I hate it. The whole thing. Too Irish. Too boring. Too "Patrick." I like more unique names. My suggestion was Beau. Of course, I've made many suggestions, but my husband is very picky on boy names.
Finally, after some pouting that we'd never name this tyke, my husband suggested John Lawrence. Which I like -I like the nickname Jack. And it's a good, strong name. But again it is sooooo boring. My own name has never been in the top 1000 names and I love my name. My husband's name is James - he is contsantly battling off people calling him 'Jim' and answering for the other 3 James/Jims he works with. I understand boy names sometimes need to be "stronger" and less unique, but JOHN? That must be the lifetime record holding most common name ever. I suggested Peter. No luck. I re-suggested Luke. Nothing. Come on! Those are Bible names. I'm not being crazy, here.
So, please help us! If it helps, the other girl names we agree on (you'll see a trend) are Rebecca and Victoria.
Here is what I think: you should use Luke.
But! I've known other people who consider a name "used up" if it was a finalist for a previous baby, and so I'm not unfamiliar with that concept---and I know what you mean about wanting your husband to be on board with the name, not just giving in. Besides, if my entire advice is "You should use Luke," then this post is over already and I am not ready for that.
For one thing, I want to talk about the name John. Paul, too, says the name John is boring. In fact, he says it is the epitome of boring. I think it SEEMS boring because it is so familiar and because it is used as a stand-in for Man's Name (John Q. Public, John Doe, etc.), but that in actual usage it is a surprisingly satisfying name. I think many names seem exciting during the pregnancy and later seem ordinary (or worse, disappointing in their unusualness: e.g., "I had no idea Landon was so common! I thought we were choosing something unique but we know two other Landons already!"), but that the name John would be the opposite: with time, you would grow more and more surprised by it.
Also, while the name John FEELS common, it is not particularly. Cast your mind around to the children you know. Anyone named John? Many boys named John are named after relatives and called by a different name---and currently, many boys named John are given the name only so they can be called Jack. Actual boys named and called John? Few.
I also like the name Michael. These solid, classic boy names---I know what you mean about them not being very exciting to choose, and they're not very exciting to announce, either. But with time, they sure do sit well.
Would it help if you got to choose the middle name? Many a happy compromise has been reached in this way. Your husband gets the common name he wants, but you get to choose something more unusual for the middle name spot.
In the meantime, let's have a poll.
[Poll results (207 votes total):
Luke: 154 votes, roughly 74%
John: 43 votes, roughly 21%
Michael: 10 votes, roughly 5%]
[Name update! 10-04-2008 Britta writes:
We went with your advice and welcomed Luke Timothy into our family on October 1. Big Sister Alexandra is learning to say "Luke."]