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Monday, February 8, 2010

Baby Boy Edison, Brother to Soren and Richard

Oh, how fun, a repeat customer! Christy writes:
I didn't expect to be back again so soon, but here I am, due in early March with my 3rd boy (big brother Richard was featured sometime before his birth in August 08).

Big brothers are Soren Kyle (Soren is, according to my husband, the greatest philosopher as well as the greatest name on earth; Kyle after my brother and so that Soren would have a K initial to match said great philosopher) and Richard Alan, named for a great-grandfather who died during my pregnancy.

We've had a TERRIBLE time trying to come up with a name that "fits" with our first sons' names, which are light-years apart stylistically. Here's what we've thought of and why we can't decide on either:

Judah, probably nicknamed Jude, middle name unknown:

* We were scanning a baby name book the night after the big ultrasound, saw it at the same time, looked at each other and said "I like Judah" This is definitely the most we've ever both liked something immediately, and it's fun that we chose it together.
* It's uncommon, but it has a history.
* I think that Jude is a really cool, tough nickname.
* I'm not sure why, but it seems to me like it doesn't make either Soren or Richard too much of the odd one out, namewise.


* It doesn't flow well with our last name, which is very much like "Edison"
* I'm guessing that while people who are familiar with the Old Testament know Judah, many more people are familiar with the New Testament Judas, who wasn't so great.
* The "a" ending could make it seem feminine? I don't worry so much about this because of other Old Testament names, like Isaiah, Noah, Jonah, Jeremiah, etc, which share the same ending and are more familiar, but it crosses my mind when I'm feeling nervous about choosing Judah.
* Though I've sworn never to reveal a name before the birth after the horrible experience I had with Soren, my husband has mentioned it three times in different groups and it has received a cold reception (polite smiles, no comment, expressions of disgust) each time. This does not sway him, as he is the big fan of unusual names, but I think that it is nice for people to like a child's name.
* I really like not having to spell or repeat or explain Richard's name. I spell Soren's name constantly. My husband's name was #1 for the decade in which he was born, so he does not understand how annoying this can be.
* We cannot come up with a middle name to go with Judah.

Our other candidate right now is William George, after my husband's other grandfather:


* It is a very nice name, easy to spell, easy to pronounce, clearly well-liked
* At least two people would cry at the announcement.
* It has meaning for us. We've considered names like Joshua, Daniel, Jonathan, Timothy, Seth, etc. which are much more common than our first two choices, but since our first two son's names had significance to us, it seems odd to choose a common name just because "it's a nice name".


* It makes Soren the odd one out, both because he doesn't have a grandfather's name and because he doesn't have a British monarch's name
* That's two of my husband's grandfathers honored with namesakes, neither of mine. It doesn't bother me, but might offend my family?
* William is quite common, which doesn't bother me except that I am used to uncommon. It probably bothers my husband, who likes uncommon.

I'm dying for the opinions of people whose faces I don't have to see after the kid is born and named. I'm open to other suggestions too, if someone can come up with a semi-uncommon name that goes with Soren & Richard and magically appeals to my husband. (I'd be paging frantically through The Baby Name Wizard myself right now if I wasn't away from home and my copy of the book.)

I have carefully read all the pros and cons (I especially like the pro about making at least two people cry---I consider that a big pro too!), and I have come through it thinking Judah is the best choice for your family. You're right: somehow it aligns itself neither with Soren nor with Richard, and in fact seems to be the magical middle ground that brings the names closer together.

I think using Jude as the full name rather than as the nickname would fix many of the cons you've got for Judah: it's farther from Judas, it would receive a better public reaction, it's easier to spell, and it flows better with your surname.

Another possibility is Judd. Judd Edison. Maybe Judd Henry Edison.

If you use Judah, I suggest William as the middle name: Judah William Edison. Con: it uses up William, if you wanted to use it for another boy later. Do either of your own grandfathers have names that you don't want to use as first names? Daniel has a nice rhythm too: Judah Daniel Edison.

If you use Jude, I suggest Isaac as the middle name if you still like it from last time: Jude Isaac Edison.

What do the rest of you think about Judah vs. William vs. third possibility, and do you have any third possibility ideas? Any more middle name suggestions for either Judah or Jude?


may said...

Congratulations!! So exciting to have another little one!

I was thinking Judah William, too! I think it's a great name and makes sense. William doesn't flow as well with the other names, even though it is a nice name. It makes Soren seem "out there."

If you don't like William as a middle name, what about your grandfathers' names? Anything usable?

I also like the name Jude, and I even know a Jude Isaac, so it's kind of funny that it was Swistle's suggestion. I do think Judah is cool on its own, though, and I don't think you should worry about people associating it with Judas. My brain associates Jonah with Judah, not Judas. Then again, I saw the name instead of hearing it, which might make a difference. But either way, it's a completely different name.

It's so hard to choose names for boys. I feel your pain. But I think you've got a winner here, and you can just tell everyone who doesn't like it to shove it. Respectfully, of course. : )

Katie said...

I like William, and named my own 2 year old that, and I must say that the popularity of the name really depends on where you live. Here in California it was way down in the 40's or so on the SS list in 2007, partly because we have so many different enthnicities and cultures and people are not so Anglican in their naming choices. :)

That being said, I liove Jude. Maybe Judah or Jude Thomas.
The ending of Judah does bring to mind "duh", so I prefer plain Jude. But both names are winners.

Katie said...

So I had to go look... William was actually #38 in CA in 2007. #3 was Angel and #10 was Diego, so there you go. :)

Sarah said...

I think Judah or Jude are both great. Strange, but easy to spell and pronounceable.

Barb @ getupandplay said...

I love either Judah or Jude!

beyond said...

I like Judah. Regarding some of your concerns: When I hear Judah, I do not associate it with Judas; The 'a' ending does not make it seem feminine; I think plenty of middle names will go nicely with it. Judah William, for example. (I'm wondering about names on your side of the family?)
Asher, Alden, Ezra, Nathan, Tobias (or Tobin) come to mind as semi-uncommon names (or middle names!) compatible with your other boys. Asher Edison. Nathan George Edison. Judah Alden Edison. Soren, Richard and Tobias.
Good luck!

Frazzled Mom said...

I like Judah, and I even like Judd. I think between Judah, Jude and Judd, Judd actually stands out the most. Any of the 3 bridge the style gap between Soren and Richard. Of the 3 I think Jude and Judd would go better with your surname.

I'll probably end up with 2 kids with contrasting name styles. Being a name fanatic, this has left me a little insecure, like I'll be judged for it. My daughter is named Fiona, which I consider a more modern, up-and-coming name, and my baby boy due in March will probably be named Paul, which like Richard, is a classic that is common among baby boomers but has been in decline for decades. But Paul has family significance and my husband, who has more mainstream tastes, which has made naming this baby difficult, had to agree to the name. I wanted to name my boy Linus and he nixed it. I feel a little better knowing there's someone else out there with contrasting name style kids.

Frazzled Mom said...

Oh, and I revisited the post on Richard, and I would also reconsider Swistle's suggestion of Malcolm from Richard's list. I feel this name also bridges the style gap: Soren, Richard and Malcolm. I like it anyway.

StephLove said...

Even though I love William and it was on our short list for a second son (before we found out we were having a daughter) for you I like Judah better. I like the story of how you found it together and it sounds good with your boys names and doesn't leave your family out. It's just a little awkward with the vowel sound at the beginning of Edison, but not a deal breaker. For middles, I'd consider some of the other names you liked:

Judah Jonathan (J.J. is a cute nickname option here)
Judah Joshua (J.J.)
Judah Timothy
Judah Seth

Note to Frazzled Mom: I KNOW brother and sister named Fiona and Paul. How funny. It never struck me as clashing, but I have a Noah (very popular) and a June (not so much).

Catherine said...

I really like Judah, and the only con from your list that I see as an issue is the flow. I also like Jude or Judd, but I also don't like the way they sound with Edison - I prefer Judah. To me the flow of Judah wouldn't be a deal-breaker. Not crazy about William (what with Soren being the odd man out). For some reason the name George comes to mind but I have no idea why (certainly not due to any recent presidents!).

Catherine said...

Oh scratch that George suggestion! One president name is enough, I think.

Steph the WonderWorrier said...

I think I prefer "Jude" to Judah. But that's obviously a personal preference thing, so if you like Judah with the nickname Jude, that's my vote. OR, my vote is just for Jude if that's on the table. I think it will work better with Soren and Richard as siblings. I also like the suggestion of Malcolm from above.

Erin said...

I love Judah! Love how you found it. That said if the flow bothers you, maybe consider Silas? It seems to have the same feel. I love it and think it goes nicely with Soren and Richard.

bellaf said...

I like Judah and I love Jude. Just wanted to say that. :)

Carolyn said...

I was thinking how much I like Jude over Judah, and when Swistle suggested it as the given name, I was sold. Jude William or Jude Isaac both sound great.

Jenn said...

I really love Judah and I agree it bridges Soren and RIchard. Judah William was what I was thinking too- but I also like Judah James (nn JJ?) I think sometimes you just have to give people time to get used to a name, and even if they don't LOVE it right away the way you did, they will quickly come around when there is an adorable baby to attach the name to.

Another suggestion is Liam - it's a derivative of William, but seems to do that bridging thing;
Soren, Richard & Liam (see? :)

Karen L said...

Another vote for Judah and/or Jude.

KL said...

Soren! Let me just say that I feel like we have a lot in common. My husband is a huge fan of Kierkegaard and we have discussed using Soren for a first name when we get around to having kids. We also love William and would love to use it. But enough about me;)

As someone with a (very) Christian background I think my opinion of Judah should carry some weight. I've never associated Judah with Judas. It just sounds like a strong Hebrew name. Jude is a great nn.

As I've said, I'm a fan of William. Does it make Soren stand out? Maybe a bit, but this should only be an issue if it bothers you. For me, the most important thing would be picking the names I love even if the styles don't match.

I think Swistle's suggestion of either Judah William or Jude William great. Judah does tie Richard and Soren together if that's important to you. And William is a great name that should be used.

(my husband also read your post and couldn't believe that anyone would give the name Soren a negative reaction. He also likes Judah).

Bree said...

My 1st born son will be Jude Andrew. My husband is Andrew Issac. I'm a fan of the Jude Issac combo.

Frazzled Mom said...

StepLove - I feel a litte better knowing there's someone else who has a Fiona and Paul. Are they children or adults? Are they full siblings or half/step siblings? Maybe I shouldn't ask the last question...

Even if the popularity is gap is wide, I don't find Noah and June clashing. And I think Noah and June FEEL about the same popularity wise even if the stats say differently. Funny thing about stats, Paul is still a lot more popular than Fiona but to me, going to these name blogs, Fiona FEELS more popular than Paul.

Christine said...

I like Judah and Jude! In fact, one of my mother's friends had a son named Jude, who I thought was the hotness at 10, so Jude totally works. And I think both Jude and Judah work as a good middle ground between Soren and Richard.

Plus, either way you can sing Hey Jude, which is always a plus in my mind.

I vote a family name for the middle, either William or maybe one from your side.

Congratulations and good luck!

Farrell said...

My friend named her son "Junah Blue" which is kind of like Jude. Junah's father's name is "Jade," which could be another consideration, though I know girls named that as well...

Hope T. said...

If you are worried at all about Biblical allusions, I would suggest that you read up on the most well-known Old Testament Judah. He may not have been on par with Judas but he certainly had some "issues".
Because of all the "cons" with Judah and because you plan to call the baby Jude anyway, I agree with Swistle that using Jude would be a nice way to avoid some of the pitfalls.
Some other names that might be a good fit with Soren and Richard:
Brian (or Bryan)

OSquared said...

I am 100% on board with the name Judah. It is one of those names that has to settle with people first. Like "Judah?.....Judah....Judah!" It will also work best when it has an actual person tied to it, at any age.
I also thinks it ties in the names of your other boys perfectly.

Erin said...

Holy cow, the other Erin took exactly what I was going to say. So ditto that, and I really like Jude and Silas too.

Anonymous said...

I love Judah or Jude (not so much Judd). Go for it! You both like it, it sounds good with your kids names and is a beautiful name.
I had a friend who wanted to name her baby Jonah, but she got comments about "oh that's a whale" (not quite people)and she didn't go with it, but wishes she had.

TG said...

What about the name Levi? Soren, Richard, and Levi.... My daughter has a classmate with that name, and he's a really great boy. It's still fairly unusual but not hard to pronounce or spell. Best of luck to you!

Veenstra Family said...

Congrats!! Our first sin is named Soren too! We're having #2 and are trying to find a name in case it's a bit. Just looking around for inspiration/ ideas and stumbled upon your blog.