This blog has moved! Please join us over at!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Baby Boy, Brother to Rose and Tess

Bren writes:
I am in desperate need of some baby naming advice. Our baby boy is due in early February and he doesn't have a name yet. His big sisters are named Rose and Tess. I LOVED their names during the pregnancies and I love them even more today. I am just not loving any one particular name this time around. Why are boy names so difficult? Our last name is 2-syllable, ending in "-er". That pretty much eliminates all first names ending in "-er" as it sounds too rhymy.

Names that I have on my list: Blake, Cole, Eli, Miles, Milo, Quinn, Clark, Elliott

Names that my husband likes: Elijah, William, Drew

Names we like but can't use: Henry, Wesley (Wes rhymes with Tess (that would be weird, right?))

2-year-old big sis suggests: Elmo

I usually prefer shorter names, but longer names can appeal to me if I don't have to exert a lot of effort to say it. My husband likes biblical names. I generally don't. I would prefer to avoid the "-en, -on, -an" ending that just about every little boy I know has. No "R" or "T" first initial. Of course, if the perfect name is found then these rules can just go out the window.

You wouldn't want to consider the name John, would you? I've sung the name's praises before, but I can always be counted on to sing another chorus. In my experience, it's a surprisingly satisfying name: it seems boring during the consideration process, but over the months and years it is more and more pleasing to say. It FEELS common, and yet hardly any children are using the name: many of the boys named John go by Jack, or by some other name to distinguish them from the Sr., Jr., etc. they're named for. The spelling "Jon" gives it a cooler, more up-to-date look, I think, though it's more likely to be mistaken for a short form of Jonathan. I think it's terrific with the sibling names: Rose, Tess, and John. It's a name that is definitely Biblical, and yet certainly not the sole possession of the Biblical realm.

If John is out of the running, it seems like Eli is your perfect compromise name; perhaps you'd prefer the long form Elias over your husband's suggestion of Elijah. If that's giving you a "meh" feeling, here are some other shorties (I used a heavy hand with Biblical-but-not-ONLY-Biblical) to consider:

Abe; Rose, Tess, and Abe
Adam; Rose, Tess, and Adam
Ian; Rose, Tess, and Ian
James; Rose, Tess, and James
Jude; Rose, Tess, and Jude
Joel; Rose, Tess, and Joel
Karl; Rose, Tess, and Karl
Liam; Rose, Tess, and Liam
Luke; Rose, Tess, and Luke
Paul; Rose, Tess, and Paul

Let's have a poll over to the right. [Poll closed; see below.]

Poll results (301 votes total):
John: 36 votes, roughly 12%
Eli: 69 votes, roughly 23%
Abe: 14 votes, roughly 5%
Adam: 12 votes, roughly 4%
Ian: 18 votes, roughly 6%
James: 23 votes, roughly 8%
Jude: 43 votes, roughly 14%
Joel: 7 votes, roughly 2%
Karl: 2 votes, roughly 1%
Liam: 24 votes, roughly 8%
Luke: 40 votes, roughly 13%
Paul: 13 votes, roughly 4%

Name update 11-13-2010: Eli!


d e v a n said...

I voted for Eli, but I also REALLY like Cole. :)

Nancy said...

I think Cole and Clark fit very well. I also like the suggestions of John and James.

Rose and Tess both sound turn-of-the-century to me, so maybe names of that era (Frank, Clyde, Otis, George, Felix, Stuart, Charles) would also be worth looking at.

And I think Nolan, Owen or Calvin might work, too...despite those -n endings. (I think they're each pretty distinct from the stylish, Jayden-esque sorts of names.)

Nowheymama said...

Of course I like Eli/Elias, but we also know an Eli whose full name is Elijah--perfect compromise!

I do agree that John sounds especially nice with the girls' names, though.

Clare said...

I like Eli (Elias better than Elijah, but both are great). If I have another boy, I want to name him Eli(as). I also like Luke (ds1 is Lucas). I think Paul or John goes well with the girls' names -- one syllable, old-fashioned but not frumpy.

Abby said...

Would you consider Bram? Swistle mentioned Abe, which got me thinking about Bram. Yes, it can be Biblical - as in Abraham - but that's not his only use.

Bram seems like a short, masculine name that fits with Rose and Tess but seems entirely his own, too.

Best wishes!

Karen said...

I'm expecting in June and a lot of those boy names from Bren and Swistle's lists are on my list. I love Eli. Adam is my oldest's name. And Tess is awesome. So I'll add a couple that are also on my boy list:

Gabriel (nn Gabe?)
Jonah (or Jonas)

Simon is Biblical-but-not-ONLY-Biblical. Gabriel reminds me of Elijah and Gabe reminds me of Cole and Blake. I love Noah but it's top-ten in my region.

Like Swistle I had thought of John. I came to Jonah when I was looking up John and it reminded me of Noah in sound and category. But please everyone, don't start loving and using Jonah. I think it's our winner.

Rachel said...

I think Drew and Miles sound great with Rose and Tess! Why aren't they in the poll?

Swistle said...

Rachel- Whenever a letter mentions "names one parent likes," I assume that these are names the other parent has already rejected---otherwise they'd be in the "names we're considering" list.

Anonymous said...

What about Graham? Or Ellis? I know an adorable little boy named Ellis. You could even - I know this is a stretch - give Ellis the nickname Eli.

Hugh and Hugo are faves of mine, too, and I think they go with Rose and Tess (lovely names, btw).

Frazzled Mom said...

I voted for Abe in the poll with Paul being my second choice if I could vote for two, but I also love the suggestions of Frank, Felix, Stuart, and Hugh. After Swistle's convincing case for John, I have grown to appreciate the name more and not just dismiss it outright as "too boring." But I really love many of the suggested names by Swistle and other posters, and any of them would go well with Rose and Tess. I even like the idea of Clyde on Otis, although I probably wouldn't use them personally.

Anonymous said...

In keeping with turn-of-the-century style names, I'm ready for the name Otto to come back in style. I knew a boy named Otto, and it was a great fit for him

Barb @ getupandplay said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE John for this family! I think it satisfies all their wants and coordinates so well with their beautiful girls' names.

Anonymous said...

Cole is great, and have you considered Noah? I actually voted for Luke, I think it fits well with the other two. John doesn't do it for me with the other two names (maybe too traditional? and I guess I still find it a bit boring, though swisle makes a strong case for it), but Jack would. I also love the name Liam, but you have so many good one-syllable names to choose from, I think those would go better with your girls names.

Anonymous said...

Elias! Toooootally Elias.

Anonymous said...

Nymbler says:

Anonymous said...

I like Blake and Jude. Both are perfection with Rose and Tess!

Steph the WonderWorrier said...

Oooh, I voted for Jude. I love the way it looks with Rose and Tess.

I also like Cole though!

- Kellie said...

The very first thing I thought was Jack. Rose, Tess and Jack. Maybe a little too popular these days, though. Finn is a close second, though.

KMW said...

I love Jack or Jude. Both sound so good with Rose and Tess. But Liam is a good compromise, since he likes William.

Great choices!

Melissa said...

What about...


Bethtastic said...

I prefer one syllable names since your girls have one syllable names. I like John. I really like Gabe. And I don't even think it needs to be a nickname, it can be a given name.

You have good taste. Rose and Tess are beautiful.

Joanne said...

I have a little brother named John and really like it and would use it IF I didn't have a brother named John. There's also Sean, for which you could also use Jack if you wanted. Liam is nice, kind of like William but shorter. When I thought of Liam, it made me think of Aidan but a lot of people use Aidan now AND it ends in 'an' BUT it made me think of Hugh, which is what Aidan is Irish for, and it's short and rarely used and doesn't end in 'an' or 'en'. Hugh. I like it. ;)

Hope T. said...

I like several of these names but I think my choice would be Will.
Rose, Tess, and Will seem to mesh nicely.