My husband and I have a Boy Name Issue.
When I was pregnant with our daughter who is now two, we didn't find out her sex before she was born. We also found ourselves completely unable to agree on a single boy name we both liked. I was in labor and we were still trying to think of a name! We would have been in such big trouble if our daughter had been a boy instead!
Fortunately she is a girl, and her name is Camilla Claire. Camilla is a name I've always loved, which was pushed to the top of our list when my husband's grandmother, who was called Camilla, died two months before our girl was born. Our last name is pronounced MOE-zhur and I love the whole combination of our daughter's name. Two years later I'm still very happy with it.
But now I am 38 weeks pregnant with baby #2. We've got a list of girl names and we'll be fine if this baby is a girl, but if it's a boy, we're back to square one.
The problem is, I have two naming priorities that seem to be at odds with one another.
1) It's important to me that sibling names fit with each other. I don't care so much about them *sounding* good together, as much as being in the same general category. My mom calls this the "Bailey and Alessandra" problem - if you name one of your kids a gender-neutral modern name like Bailey, you can't give a sibling an ultra-feminine romantic name like Alessandra. It's just... wrong.
Since we've gone the strong-gendered, slightly-old-fashioned route with Camilla's name, I'd like to stick with that as a general theme. But I don't care, like I said, about the names sounding good together. For instance, if the name Lillian were a name we liked, we'd use it even though "Camilla and Lillian" sounds a little weird because of all the "ill". We're hoping to have a lot of kids, so I'm considering the sibling-names-are-like-a-poem a lost cause from the outset.
2) Unfortunately, a lot of the names that I think of as being in the same general category as Camilla are getting really popular. William, for instance (although William itself is not a favorite of mine.) And it's important to me that all our children's names be relatively unpopular. My name, Arwen, is incredibly unusual and I've always loved having an unusual name. I'm the oldest of six and four of my siblings have names as unusual as mine, but I also have a brother named Brandon. My parents didn't realize the name was popular when they used it, but poor Brandon has always complained about being different in his own family, just because he has a name that people have heard before. I really want to avoid a situation like this with any of our children. It's why we decided not to go the really-unusual route with our kids' names, even though there were a couple we liked, because there were ONLY a couple we liked and I wanted to avoid a situation like my parents inadvertently created. So it's a priority for us that our kids' names not be in the top 300 or so - in my ideal, the reaction people would have to all our kids' names is the reaction they have to Camilla - they've heard the name before, but don't usually know anyone who shares it. (Not that I care so much about what other people think about the name, I'm just giving my definition of the level of popularity we're going for.)
Now, you can see the dilemma, right? It seems like ALL of the names I think of as classic boys' names are in the top 300. Daniel, Christopher, James, William. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, for that matter. If you look at the same general popularity level as Camilla's name (#822 in 2006, the year she was born, although that's a little misleading because Camila and Camille were more popular) you get boy names like Prince and Jaron, Alden and Adonis. Perfectly fine names all, but not exactly the classics we're going for.
So what I'm hoping is that you can help me find some names that are classic-ish and not too common that we could use for a boy. They don't have to be names your grandfather would have been named, as long as they sound like names your grandfather could have been named. I know there must be something out there, and if anyone knows how to find it, you do!
We're not worried about middle names - we are not picky about middle names and will have no trouble finding a harmonious match once we've got the first name sorted out. The name should sound good with our last name, though, which leaves out names with long Os and names that end in -er. Otherwise, the sky's the limit!
I KNOW, RIGHT?? It's a terrible problem, and one of the reasons boy names are such a challenge. Well, let's see if we can find something anyway. I'm doing this the manual way: I'm going to the Social Security baby names website, calling up the Top 1000 names for 2007, starting at 300 and working toward 1000. As I looked at each name, I screened it:
1) Is it a name that's familiar to me? If yes, move to second screening test; if no, reject.
2) Does it sound like it could have been a few generations back in my family tree? If yes, move to third screening test; if no, reject.
3) Is it a name I LIKE, or a name I think I'm READY to like? If yes, add to list; if no, reject.
So you can see that if each of the readers of this blog went through the same process, we'd all wind up with very different lists: a small tweak of the family tree or a small tweak in geographical region or a small tweak in naming tastes, and suddenly we have a radically different list. But onward! Here's my list:
Karl, #862 (the spelling Carl is #450; combined, they'd be about #368)
My favorite is Karl, which sounds great with MOE-zhur and with Camilla. I also like Franklin MOE-zhur and Frederick MOE-zhur; Camilla and Franklin, Camilla and Frederick.
I'll put a poll over to the right to see what everyone else thinks. [Poll closed; see below.]
Edit: Okay, so while I was laboring over this post, Arwen was laboring over a LABOR: she had the baby and named him Blaise Alexander, and holy bersneezes but I need to CATCH UP with the BACKLOG so that I am not GIVING ADVICE while people are GIVING BIRTH. Let's keep the voting going anyway, even though it won't apply to Baby Blaise: future babies may benefit from their parents knowing what the popular opinion is of these names.
Poll results (234 votes total):
Saul: 11 votes, roughly 5%
Silas: 54 votes, roughly 23%
Albert: 3 votes, roughly 1%
Russell: 15 votes, roughly 6%
Franklin: 33 votes, roughly 14%
Warren: 17 votes, roughly 7%
Gideon: 29 votes, roughly 12%
Frederick: 42 votes, roughly 18%
Alfred: 3 votes, roughly 1%
Conrad: 16 votes, roughly 7%
Karl: 11 votes, roughly 5%