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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Baby Boy H.: Cooper, Harrison, or Charlie

Rachel writes:
My husband and I are struggling with names for our second son (arriving end of December/beginning of January). We made the (very wise) decision last time not to tell anyone our name choice until after our son was born and we'd like to do that again this time. However, we're struggling with what name to use and some second opinions would be helpful. Since we're keeping it a secret from family/friends I thought I'd turn to you! Also, while my husband has strong opinions he named our first son, so he's stated that in the end I get to to decide the name for this baby.....oh the pressure!!!

First of all, our last name is similar to "Hull" or "Hill," so we need a name that works with that. His middle name will be my maiden name (which is also our first son's middle name). Our first son (19 months) is named Wyatt. We had his name picked out before the ultrasound. We liked it because it wasn't so uncommon that people would think it was "weird" but not as common as Jack or other popular boy names. (Although Sheryl Crow named her son Wyatt one month later and now it's becoming more popular!).

Anyhow, as for names for this baby.....

We've narrowed it down to 2 or 3. Choice A is Cooper. It goes well w/ our last name, goes well with Wyatt and is easy to spell/pronounce. I think it will be really cute for a baby or a little boy. What we're less sure of is what it'll sound like for a 30 year old grown man. I keep picturing a grown man in a suit shaking hands and introducing himself as "Cooper" and I'm just not sure it works.

Choice B is Harrison, although we'll call him Harry. I like this because I had a great grandfather named Harry and my husband's grandfather is Harold so it keeps it in the family. Plus I think a baby Harry is so cute sounding. It also gives him the option of going by Harrison as an adult if he wants to. The only downside...I think Harrison sounds great with our last name, but I think Harry with our last name sounds silly. And I keep envisioning him introducing himself as Harry H--- and it sounds weird. What do you think?

Choice C is Charlie. My husband just came up with this in the last week. Neither of us like Charles so we'd put Charlie on the birth certificate.. I think it's an okay name but I don't love it as much as Cooper or Harrison/Harry.

I'd love to hear other people's thoughts/opinions on this!

So would I! Let's put the three names in a poll over to the right [poll closed; see below], and people can give freestyle opinions in the comment section.

Poll results (223 votes total):
Cooper: 113 votes, roughly 51%
Harrison (Harry): 68 votes, roughly 30%
Charlie: 42 votes, roughly 19%

Name update 02-21-2009! Rachel writes:
A belated update....our son Harry was born on January 8th. We named him Harrison but are calling him Harry. Thanks for all the comments and voting from everyone. Even though Harry wasn't the popular choice, reading everyone's comments helped us decide.


verygoodyear said...

I really love Harrison & Cooper both, particularly since they draw to mind very 'masculine' men. I think I lean towards Cooper however -- that "oo" sound is uncommon and I think it'll be very ear-catching. Also, I'm not big on alliteration, like Harrison H---.

Rachel said...

I'm not a fan of surnames as first names. Plus this little guy will have a surname for a middle name too. 3 last names? Harsh. For me this rules out Harrison and maybe Cooper.

I think if you like Harry and will call him him Harry (like you would do with Charlie instead of Charles). I voted for Charlie, its one of my favorite names for a boy.

Sarah said...

How about Jesse? I think it has the unique qualities you like in Wyatt while still being a strong man's name.

I don't know about Cooper. I clearly see why people like it, but I don't think I could subject my kid to a childhood of "Cooper Pooper". It's just going to be too tempting for the other kids. Naming your kid Peter and having them hear "Peter, Peter, pumpkin-eater" is one thing. In my mind, "Cooper Pooper" is another.

Good luck. I look forward to hearing what you choose!

Kathleen aka Coffee Mom said...

Cooper was our choice if our third child was a boy, as it turned out she was a girl. Harrison is our second son's name. Charlie is our dog's name.
Obviously I love all your choices and am going to be of no help at all, except to say that to me Harrison feels more like a mans name than Cooper. Cooper is a softer feeling name.

Miss Emily said...

The idea of naming a kid Charlie instead of Charles seems kind of mean to me... If you worry about a 30 year old business man introducing himself as 'Cooper' what would happen if he had to announce himself in the boardroom as 'Charlie'? At least give him a grownup name that he can nickname or de-nickname at will.

That said, I have to agree with the previous commenter about having three last names. Nobody wants to sound like a law firm...

M said...

I have a Cooper and clearly understood the "playground implications" of such a name. One of my friends has a bizarre name (at least in our culture), and he said that kids will always make fun of a kid for SOMETHING - if it's not their name, they'll just find another thing. And everybody poops ... so who cares?

Cooper had family connections for us, and I've never thought "it'll sound weird when he's an adult." I don't know, I think it's fine.

I'm just going to come out and say I hate Harry. All the terrible "playground implications" of that name are just too much to throw on a kid. Harrison is a great name, but I agree that between Harrison YOUR MAIDEN NAME and LAST NAME, it's a bit too much with the surnames. (Both our kids have surnames for first names, which is why neither of them have my husband's middle name, his mother's maiden name ... too many last names.)

We ::almost:: went with Charlie, not Charles. I think Charlie can transition from baby to grown man without every having to go into the Charles realm. I mean, really, aside from Prince Charles, who goes by Charles?

Since we have similar taste in names (aside from Harry, sorry!), here are some other names we considered: Lucas, Eli (or Elijah), Sawyer, Maxwell, Asher, Ashton, Rowen, Ian, Colin, Rylan(d), and Blake. Two other names I like that would never work with my last name but would work for yours: Benson and Gibson.

That said ... I'm voting for Cooper ... but be warned Coopers are real spitfires (each and everyone, including my own, I've met is a tough cookie).

Good luck!

el-e-e said...

There was actually a kid in my class growing up named Harry (in the 80s-90s) and I always thought his name was... odd. Too grown up or something. And I agree In Theory that nothing-but-surnames seems a bit much, but my son is Alexander Jackson ____, so I can't defend it!

I think I'm voting for Charlie. Or I really like Blake, as M suggested!

Steph the WonderWorrier said...

Hmm. Tough. I love the name Harrison, but don't like Harry (personal choice, of course). Cooper is cute, but I know too many dogs named Cooper so it just doesn't sound like a person-name to me (sorry! Again, that's just personal choice based on experience).

I like Charlie. I think that you should put Charles on the birth certificate just so that there's a nice, full name to fall back on when he's older... but then just call him Charlie, introduce him as Charlie to people, etc, etc. He'll take on Charlie all his life, but I think having the full name on the birth certificate (because you just never know what career path he might take), would be the best plan.

I also like Sawyer and Maxwell as were suggested.

And similar to Cooper, what about Carter?

Diane said...

Peyton and Eli Manning's older brother is named Cooper, and it seems to work for him as an adult. Of your choices, I like that one best. I think it works well with Wyatt. Also, remember that when all the little Coopers out there now are in their 30s, Cooper will likely seem more like an adult name because we'll be used to hearing it on adults.

Firegirl said...

I'm loving Cooper! And really, kids will tease regardless, it's just what they do.

One of my oldest friends is named Charles. Kids in school called him Charlie and now as an adult: he hates it. He went by Chaz in college but now has reverted to Charles. While the name has versatility, it seemed to cause a bit of an identity crisis for him.

So, I vote for Cooper. Original without being weird, not too grown-up or babyish and doesn't sound like an investment banker firm. (:-D

Leticia said...

Of your choices, I guess I like Cooper the best, but it does sound like more of a "little boy" name than a "man name"...if you know what I mean. What about Emmett? Or Logan?

I love Harrison, but I don't really like the alliteration thing going on with your last name.

Frazzled Mom said...

I voted for Cooper because I feel it complements Wyatt the best of the three. I have no problems envisioning a grown name named Cooper. In fact I can more easily envision a grown Cooper before I can envision a grown Charlie.

About Charlie, I am one of those who is a stickler for using the full name on the birth certificate UNLESS the nickname was historically a a name in its own right first - I just went into this on another discussion. But I'm a big time "name nerd" so take that with a grain of salt.

If you go with Harrison, I would call him Harrison only because there are so many baby Harry's today.

I like the suggestion of Blake and I'm going to throw Emmet into the mix. Emmet is similar in style to Wyatt, and is not terribly overused. The only downside is the repetitive T ending with Wyatt.

Frazzled Mom said...

I just had another idea - this often happens. Maybe Olin?

I discovered this name quite accidentally. I once meant to type "Online" left out the "n" and realized if I had left out the "e" I would have Olin which is actually a name - I looked it up.

Olin is similar to Owen, but has more of an old-fashioned western style like many of the other names you like.

Peace said...

I agree with you on Harry Hill sounding too alliterative, I couldn't vote for it. If he was always going to be Harrison it would be different. I agree with all of the other comments about putting Charles on the birth certificate, Charlie is a child's name, and doesn't work as well on an adult. I like Cooper. I would also suggest Garrison, Garrett, Jared, Jeremy, Elliott, Duncan, Calvin, Simon, Andrew, and I LOVE Emmett.

Anonymous said...

What about Charleston? It's got the uniqueness of a place name, but is not the older name, Charles. Then you could always call him Charlie for a nn

heather said...

Well, I'm not going to pick from the three choices, so I'll just give my opinion down here. Since you asked for them! :)

Not a fan of Cooper. I think for the reason you pointed out yourself... I just can't picture it on a grown man.

I love Harrison, but really don't like Harry. Like someone else said, I've heard entirely too many babies named Harry lately, plus I just don't like it. I don't find it endearing, I don't think it's cute, I picture an old man. But I do love Harrison if he stayed Harrison.

And Charlie I'm afraid I kind of feel the same as Harry. Just kind of eh. And I don't know that a grown man would want to go by Charlie.

Out of those choices, I'd have to say I think Cooper goes best with Wyatt. I know it's been narrowed down to your three, but if you're looking for more suggestions these came to my mind that seem to run along the lines of yours...
Brady, Grant, Lewis, Blake, Jesse, Jude or Finn.

Rayleen said...

Just wanted to point out that if you chose Jesse from amoung the suggestions it may remind people of Wyatt Earp and Jesse James. You'd have a wild west theme going ther. :-)

Anonymous said...

I think Harrison os a great name, but Harry Hill is just too much. I can only imagine what the kids will say on the playground.... kids can be so cruel with names, and Harry is asking for trouble. Personally, I like Charlie or Jesse instead.

Frema said...

I don't understand all the fuss about Charles/Charlie. I've known many Charlies as grown men, including a Ph.D.-level professor, and not one of them went by Charles. I love Charlie and would use that on the birth certificate. Why put a name on there you never plan to use?

I also love Harry but agree that the alliteration is too much. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

these three names are so different! Harrison is my favorite but Harry (hairy ___) is not so great. What about
Chase or
Garrett? (though Wyatt and Garrett are a bit similar)
I liked the Brady/Brody suggestion above as well.
and, how would these names flow with your maiden name/middle name?

Joanne said...

I am from NJ but live in IN which is the only reason I know what those of you that are talking about Harry (Hairy) are saying. It would never occur to me otherwise that people would pronounce Harry Hairy.

I am big on naming a child a real name, not a nickname. I would no more name a child Charlie than I would name a child Flip or Skippy. This is JUST ME and I am a REAL BITCH about it, I know. But it drives me mad. The only Charles I know is Chuck to us, and Charles professionally. FWIW, I love the nickname Charlie, I think it's adorable.

Mel said...

My only comment is that if your last name happens to be Hall (you said it was like Hill and Hull), as mine is, Cooper and Harrison may sound a bit more like a place than a person. I love names and end in -er, like Hunter, but it just doesn't sound right with the last name.
Of course if your last name isn't Hall, Cooper and Harrison work just fine and you can disregard this comment!