I'm due at the very beginning of October with our first, a boy, and though we're pretty sure of what we'll name him, I was wondering if you could help resolve some issues with your (and your readers') baby-naming knowledge.
I have loved the name Eli for about ten years, and was delighted when it sounded good with both our family-inspired middle name, Joseph, and our last name. My husband likes it too, especially the initials. He was called J.R. as a kid and likes the sound of E.J.
There's only one problem-- we live in the New York area, where Eli Manning is the reigning Super Bowl quarterback. My (rather large) family lives in New England, where Manning is one of the foils to the Patriots' nearly-perfect season. My family, especially my father (a one-time Patriots season ticket holder) have named pets after sports figures in the past, and I don't want it to seem that we named our son after the quarterback. So far, I have consoled myself by saying that people like my dad can call him E.J., but we've never fully committed. I'd like to think that I don't care what other people think if my husband and I love the name, but we've still been trying to find backups.
Another name that we love is Miles, but it's the name of a friend's pet. Colin has stayed on the list, as has Aaron, but I don't love either of them. Henry and Charles have been dubbed "old" by my husband. Female names that we liked included Leah, Lily, Natalie and Morgan. I like names that inspire intelligence, creativity and kindness, though I know that's a matter of opinion.
Because our last name can be difficult to pronounce and is uncommon, it's important to have an easy, short first name. I like classic names with some style. My husband prefers names that don't "sound old." We'd like to stay away from anything too trendy.
Could you please help? What do you think of the Eli issue? I'm hoping that I'm just paranoid and most people won't even make the football connection (or perhaps Brett Farve will steal the spotlight in the coming season). Could there be another name that does the trick and doesn't require an explanation or disclaimer?
I think you should use Eli. You love it. You agree on it. You want to use it. It's perfect with your surname and with the middle name you want to use.
I think the sports connection is tenuous at best, and not at all obvious. If you named him Babe Ruth, that would be different---but Eli? I don't think you'll need to volunteer an explanation that "it's not after Eli Manning." (Eli Manning's full name is Elisha, if that helps.) If I were you and my dad gave me any crap, I'd roll my eyes and say, "I've liked this name for TEN YEARS! It has nothing to do with SPORTS! Beezus!"
On the other hand, I'm not what you'd call "sporty." Perhaps some of you sports fans can help us out here.