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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Baby Boy McCartney

Michelle writes:
Our due date is May 30, 2010. We have two other kids with Celtic/English first names and our last name is McCartney. It's not too important that our son be named a Celtic/english name, but to have a name that doesn't clash too much would be good. I do however LOVE British sounding names that aren't too popular)
The list/questions we have:
1. Atticus ( I know, it's totally not Celtic so it's a hesitation for me and I don't care for nn ati an also, does it sound like we are trying too hard?)
2. Lucan (it's ancient,although it sounds made up)
3. Miles (nn Milo)
4. Alastair (but despise the nn al and ali, and Alic is boring) also with this name I would live to insist he just be called his full name, but I'm doubtful that can be adhered to in such a nickname loving society as a whole **sidenote: what do you think about my thought on full names with this in mind** also, some people see this a "whimpy sounding name"
5. Duncan (btw with Duncan, Milo, Lucan they gravitate to me because they sound warm yet strong AND they are not too popular which is attractive)

****These last two are more popular, but they are classic and English enough that I would consider them I think****
6. Oliver
7. Henry (my current infatuation and the one I think I'd like the most input about please) I wonder if it's too popular that it will sound humdrum. To me it sounds strong, rustic, yet classy and even though popular, it doesn't seem like it would turn out to be a bore of a name. Like a beautiful classic style leather arm chair you know?
I would sooooo appreciate your thoughts as I'm coming down to the wire now with our impeding birth!!!
Thank you for taking the time to help me!

45 comments:

Fran said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE the name Lucan!!

StephLove said...

I like Miles, Duncan, Oliver and Henry but I think I like Duncan best for you. It sounds good with the surnname and you seem to want a less common name. Duncan is the only name on your list falling in popularity (though Alastair and Lucan aren't on it at all).

Carla said...

Lucan is a really cool sounding name - I'm all for the slightly different. And, no, I don't think it sounds made up.

Barb @ getupandplay said...

Lucan and Duncan are great! I love Henry but it is getting quite popular, although if you love it, I wouldn't let that hold you back!


Oooh, my word verification was reess which made me think of Rhys/Reese! What about adding that to the mix?

Lisa said...

My favorites from you list are Henry, Miles, and Oliver, in that order.

I think the same way with Henry as you do.

I wish I knew your other children's names...

And Lucan, do you pronounce it Lou-can. Or is it more like Lou-shan? (Lucian) I'm thinking the 1st, right?

Jan said...

My favorite from your list is Duncan - the first two are a little out there for me, Alastair does have that nn issue, and Miles/Oliver/Henry are too trendy for my taste. I also like how it sounds with your last name!

Alison aka Baby B said...

I agree with a commenter above: Rhys! Very British. And it would be easy to have no nn if you like or he could go by Rhy, either pronounced "Ree" or "Rye" if he wanted to when he gets older.

And if you want to avoid nn Ali for Alistair, you could go with Alastor. There is a Harry Potter connection there, but it may be less "girly" looking to people. There is the nn Tor there. I knew a Torin who went by Tor occasionally. Or Alistair could go by "Air" which looks a little strange, but rhymes with the first syllable of Aaron, a very common boy name.

Christine said...

I like Henry and Duncan the best from your list, but am loving the suggestion of Rhys.

Good luck!

beyond said...

I wish you had given us the names of your other children. From your list I like Lucan, Oliver, Miles and Henry. Henry is rising in popularity (as is Oliver, I think?) so if you're worried about that, you might want to go with another choice. I think I like Lucan best. It sounds great, and it's slightly different and interesting without being weird.

Anonymous said...

I'm a bit worried about Lucan, since you are against nicknames. He's sure to be called Luke. If you are not opposed to that, then it's a nice name.

My favorite is Duncan. It's such a great name!!!!!!!

I also like Miles. I'm a Mc-- as well, on both sides of the family, actually. Miles seems to always be a contender for the boys in our family.

Great names.

I agree with the previous poster - tell us your other kids' names.

Emily S. said...

What are your other kids' names?

Twee Poppets said...

Just going to toss this in: a nickname for Alastair (love it, by the way!) could be Alex, as Alastair is a form of Alexander. I don't know if you'd like Alex any better than Alic, but I personally think it's a lot better and less boring. :)

-Chelsea
http://tweepoppets.blogspot.com

Frazzled Mom said...

You feelings on Henry match my feelings on Owen - even though Owen is popular, it doesn't seem boring. But maybe Owen is one of your other children's names? Since we don't know your other children's names, it is sort of difficult to make suggestions, but perhaps you aren't looking for more options and just want opinions on your current list. Here are mine:

Atticus - I tend to be somewhat adventurous when it comes to names (I recently became ecstatic to learn a recent Swistle poster was considering Ferdinand), and would not discourage you from using this, but if you aren't so sure, maybe this could make a good middle name.

Lucan - to me it is no different from Luca, Luke, and Lucas which seem very trendy to me right now.

Miles - I love this, and I like how it is traditional sounding, yet more unique than Michael and Matthew. I love Milo too, but I fear Milo as a given name tries to hard to be cool and your idea to use is as a nickname is genius.

Alastair - I have completely come around to this name. I used to think it was prissy, but now it seems manly (I saw a very manly British man on TV with this name) and like Miles, has a traditional side (I think it is a Scottish or English form of Alexander), but at least in the US it stands out more than Alexander, making it sound new to my American ears. If you are American, perhaps those nicknames can be avoided since the name is not yet established here in the states.

Duncan - I agree with the others, this is my favorite of your list. The Shakespearean connection gives it some tradition, but it still sounds modern, fitting one of my personal preferences, it seems both old-fashioned and modern. It would have made a great brother for my daughter, Fiona, but my husband didn't like this for our son either - Ironically, I'm a name nerd who married a man who doesn't seem to like any names.

Oliver - I like this but agree it is getting too popular, and that may ruin it. Perhaps you would consider Oscar? Surprisingly, Oscar has been holding steady in the rankings. I know Oscar is not Celtic.

Henry - Truthfully, I don't understand the current fascination with this name. Well I sort of do, since it fits the old-fashioned trend, but I am one of the few who doesn't think Henry is all that special and the popularity is making it even less special. I would pick Oliver over Henry. The names are both going up in popularity, seem to be similar in style, would make great brothers, but for some reason, I feel Oliver sounds more interesting.

Sorry for the book, but for what they are worth, these are my opinions. Good luck.

mooncakemama said...

Hi everyone! Thanks so much for your input! I'm writing on bedrest to try to keep these contractions at bay so it gives me time to really think about his name. I really appreciate your thoughts and feel less alone in the decision making process ( hubs is just not helping as much as I'd like with names. All he does is object with the exception of these grrrrrrrr) sorry to leave out my kids names: they are Liam and Fiona.
In answer to one suggestion:Rhys is an interesting name, thanks! But it seems too close to Ryan to me.( i know I'm so darn picky. Lol )
and yes, Lucan is pronounced " Luke an" I don't mind the nn but will try to gently tell others to address him as his full name even though it's inevidable eventually.
Again, I feel so grateful for your thoughts and less anxious now! Any other thoughts would be very very welcomed! Xo

Patricia said...

I'm enjoying all the praise for Duncan. It's the middle name of our adult son James. He's always loved his middle name and would probably use it as the first name if he someday has a son. I chose the name Duncan because it's a family surname, of an ancestor from Scotland.

I like Henry a lot too. It's certainly a strong English name, although has no Celtic connections that I know of. I don't think it's too popular, having advanced only 7 places in 2009, from #78 to #71. Our newest grandson, born last month, is named Henry, and I'm happy to have a Henry in the family!

How about Henry Duncan McCartney (unless you have a family name chosen for his middle name)? Or Duncan Henry McCartney sound well together too.

Patricia said...

Liam, Fiona and Duncan.

I think Duncan would make a perfect third with Liam and Fiona.

None of your other possibilities seem to fit as well as Duncan.

I like Miles but Miles McCartney not so much.

Lucan sounds a bit feminine to me (but not as much as Luca), and with Lucas so popular Lucan may be confused with that name, and most likely will be called "Luke" at some point (he may prefer that). Too Lucan gives you 2 L names; I'd probably choose a name that doesn't begin with either L or F.

Atticus seems 'too much" and not a good pairing with Liam.

Alastair, ditto.

Oliver and Henry come across somewhat similarly to me; of the two, I'd chose the no-nickname Henry.

Henry would be my second choice for your sibset because you love the name so much and because it's compatible with Liam and Fiona too:
--all three are names with a strong British connection
--all three are nickname proof

So, again, my vote is for Duncan or Henry, whichever name you like the most. That's the most important criteria, I think.

Patricia said...

PS My second post was written after I read the names of your older children.

I hope your little boy can wait just a little longer to make is appearance.

Best wishes!

mooncakemama said...

Thank you so much, Patricia for taking time out to help me! I like your thoughts a lot! I do think Duncan is a high contender (btw I love Henry Duncan! But we want john or a version in the middle name to honor my gpa and maybe Hudson for the river I grew up near) my only hesitancy is the association with Duncan donuts. Do you think it has the potential to be a teasable issue? Kids can be so mean. One thing I know though is no matter what the name, kids will always find something to tease kids about. I already have a Fiona which I guess makes her more likely to be teased due to associations with Shrek (but justified those away by saying to myself that character was at least not that typical rail thin, damsel in disress Disney character but
a strong less superficial one) sorry about the tangent! I
just wondered what you or others may think about the
teasing potential. Maybe I should care so much, I was just teased in grade school a lot for having glasses so perhaps this is why I'm so sensitive)
Anyway, thank you for your thoughts and also for the well wishes of our little guy. He needs to stay put an gain a few more weeks IMO since he is measuring small (u/s estimated this 2weeks ago)and I worry about complications... Please keep thinking of is? Thank you!

M.Amanda said...

My vote is for Duncan. It reminds me of the Highlander series (Duncan MacLeod, of the clan MacLeod), which I find a positive association since I thought that character was strong, yet sensitive, kind and intelligent.

Patricia said...

I wouldn't worry about the somewhat similar sound of the name Duncan and Dunkin' (dunking) Donuts. As you said, if a kid wants to tease another, he'll find something to try to do so, whether the other child's name, glasses, or who knows. My husband sometimes called our son -- James Duncan -- "Duncan", as a nn, and at least one of the older kids in the family made the Dunkin Donuts sound-alike comment, but that was regarded as just something interesting and no way reflecting on our "Duncan".

Duncan is a strong male-only name with a fine history, including the medieval Scottish kings Duncan I and Duncan II. Here's what my book of Scottish names -- "Scottish Forenames", 2005 New Edition, Edinburgh -- says of the name:

DUNCAN - Probably of Irish origin... Two Scottish kings bore the name. Duncan, son of Crinan the Thane, was King of Scots, 1034-40, and Duncan, son of Malcolm III, was king in 1094. The name occurs regularly among the noble families of Scotland as a forename and became a surname. ...One of the most famous bearers of the name was Duncan Ban MacIntyre (1724-1812), who was a Gaelic poet.

From "An A-Z of baby names", UK 2006:
DUNCAN - Like many names of Irish origin this was quickly adopted by Scotland whose language was so similar. There were two Scottish kings of that name, the first of whom...[is] well-known from Shakespeare's play [Macbeth].

You may have seen these endorsements of Duncan in "The Baby Name Wizard", USA 2009: "A handsome and dashing Scot, this timeless name is bristling with potential" and in The Baby Name Bible, USA 2007: "Jaunty, confident and open, this Scottish royal name is brimming with friendly charm and makes it into our golden circle of ideal names". In the latter baby name book, the authors/"baby name experts" have a star by their entry for Duncan, indicating a "recommended Best Bet" name.

I think Duncan John McCartney would be an excellent name. And Liam, Fiona and Duncan would be a brilliant sibset, especially with your surname.

(And I wouldn't worry too much about his size. Our DIL had several u/s during her third pregnancy and was told the baby was fine but small; much concern about that, particularly from one doctor. Henry was born at three days past his due date and weighed 7bs. 14oz, larger than either of his older brothers were at birth.)

Please let us know how you're doing and of course, what you name him!

mooncakemama said...

Thanks forvall that awesome info, Patricia! I'm getting
excited about the name Duncan the more and more I entertain it! So I went into one of my gazillion baby name books and to my disappointment, it looks like Duncan is now being used as a name for GIRLS! Oh man! That's makes me angry since two of my other original choices (spencer and Hudson) are now turning towards the girls names. More power to girls with strong masculine names, but it more and more limits the baby boy name pool of names ( if you're like me and don't care to have a boy with a slightly feminine association. I know for some an ambiguous name isn't so bad, but somehow I think I'd feel differently if it was a girl I was naming that sort of name.) I'd hate for Duncan to totally "go girl" which seems to be how names evolve (gender ambiguous then to all girl I.e. Kelly, Lindsay, Alison etc)
well, I guess I'm frustrated. Thanks for letting me vent!
Do you or any of the other posters feel Duncan is at risk for such a change?

mooncakemama said...

Ps thank you so very much for your encouragement re the u/s! You're right, at this time in the game, maybe they are very off ( an underestimating!) will keep you posted!

Patricia said...

Since you can't run around researching names and you mentioned you "LOVE British sounding names that aren't too popular", I decided to check a couple of my other name books from the UK. Here are a few more tidbits about the name Duncan:

--name of a 7th-century Scottish saint
--Duncan "was taken up on a wider basis throughout the English-speaking world in the 20th century..."
--"It enjoyed a peak of popularity in the 1960s [in the UK, I think it means] but had become rather less common by the end of the century.
--"Notable bearers have included Scottish painter Duncan Grant (1885-1978) and British swimmer Duncan Goodhew (b.1957).

Some stats:

--2008 England & Wales -- Duncan ranked #630 (50 boys given the name)

--2009 USA -- Duncan ranked #732 (315 boys)

---2008 USA -- Duncan ranked #718 (322 boys)

-----
I just read your last comments: "I went into one of my gazillion baby name books and to my disappointment, it looks like Duncan is now being used as a name for GIRLS!"

Nonsense, that's not at all true. Have you heard about the new SSA "Beyond the Top 1000 Names" list, released last Friday, that includes ALL names given to 5 or more babies in a particular year? I just checked 2009 - no girls named Duncan; the same for 2008. No longer can baby name book authors throw out unsubstantiated statements like that and not be held accountable. Duncan is being used for boys - period!

Patricia said...

PS
BabyNamesPedia:
"Duncan Names for Girls

There are no girl names matching the search for "duncan"."

I'd throw that baby name book out!

(Really, there have been a LOT of worthless, useless, inaccurate -- even 'dangerous to the selection of your baby's name' ---baby name books published.)

Frazzled Mom said...

Now I remember why my husband rejected Duncan - it was Dunkin Donuts - HOWEVER - I think in most situations the Dunkin Donuts association is not strong enough to worry about. I would have debated my husband on it, but you see, my husband was a chubby child and was concerned that if our son took after him, the Dunkin Donuts teasing would be inevitable. He may be right so I didn't debate him on it.

As for Duncan being used on girls, that is ridiculous. Was this the Beyond Jason and Jennifer (Madison / Montana, Ava / Aiden, etc.) book? Those authors seem obsessed with boy’s names on girls. I think I heard somewhere that one of these women suggested Gary for a girl. Really? I don't even like Gary on a boy. I can't see Duncan on a girl.

Anonymous said...

I really like Duncan, and I have a Henry so I am fond of that name. If you're having misgivings about Duncan maybe you would consider Deacon?

Karen G said...

Hi there,
Have you considered "Ronan"? A friend of mine has a darling child by that name.

I also like the other names, espec Duncan, Miles, and Henry (as this can be nicknamed 'Hank').

Of course, you might select 'itros', which is the word verification of this comment. Sounds kind of Mediterranean (sp).

Emily S. said...

I like Lucan, Duncan, and Miles from your list.
I have not heard of Duncan being used for girls, so don't worry about that.

Other ideas:

What do you think of Declan? Very similar to Duncan but without the donut jokes.

or Lorcan (similar to Lucan but without the nn problem)

Best of luck!

mooncakemama said...

Thank you, Emily and everyone! I am loving Duncan more and more since finding this blog and getting your thoughts and input, it's a great feeling to know I'll be going to the hospital with some confidence in some good strong names :0) now watch, after all this, we'll see him and say " Rupert" lol!

mooncakemama said...

Hi there! Phew! It looks like last week I ended up having false labor. Thank you sooooo much for all your help and all the comments thus far in finding us a baby name. I'm definately feeling more confident with our choices but of course, I have more questions as I go. Would you mind helping mr a kittle more pleAse? This is a great blog which is very respectful so I feel confortable here and any thoughts you or the posters may have is appreciated!
I have two kids Liam and Fiona already and our due date is may 30. We are expecting a boy. We have an affinity to English/ Irish names that aren't trendy or popular. I also like warm- ish sounding names. The names I like in the order of preference:
1. Duncan
2. Miles (nn Milo)
3. Henry
4. Spencer (although that seems to have crossed over to the girl side in some baby name books)
The others from my first post a few days ago still pertain as well.
My questions this time are
A. why has Duncan dropped in popularity so much from just 10 years ago (it can't be all from the donut association, could it?)
B. I know miles is very popular right now so I have no doubt others will also compromise this with using the less pop nn Milo, but because of this, dies it make the name sound too trendy? Or like we are trying too hard?
C.any of you from the uk? How popular are Milo and Duncan there?
D. Are there other suggestions you may have?
Thank you again sooo very much fir your help!

Patricia said...

I don't know why Duncan has been falling in popularity, but a couple of things to consider:

1. Being in the USA Top 1000 at all is a major accomplishment. There are over 60,000 names that were given to at least 5 babies in 2009 that didn't make the list at all.

2. Duncan did decline from 2008 - 2009, but only by 7 babies with that name:

2008 322 boys named Duncan (rank #718)
2009 315 boys named Duncan (#732)

As for the UK popularity of your 4 contenders, the latest stats from England and Wales (both Scotland and Northern Ireland publish their baby name stats independently): are:

Duncan - #623
Miles - #184
(Milo - #181)
Henry - #38
Spencer - #178

(Per SSA data, in 2009, 1669 American boys were named Spencer, while only 37 girls were give the name. Spencer is definitely a male name.)

It seems to me that while you like the name Duncan, you have some concerns about it and might not be as comfortable with it as you would with another name, even though Duncan would go so well with Liam and Fiona.

Maybe another name Celtic/Gaelic name would be a better choice for you -- perhaps:
Declan
Dermot
Hamish (Scottish James)
Cormac

Or why not Henry? I think Henry goes well with Liam and Fiona too, but in a different way than Duncan.

In your original post you wrote, "Henry (my current infatuation and the one I think I'd like the most input about please) I wonder if it's too popular that it will sound humdrum. To me it sounds strong, rustic, yet classy and even though popular, it doesn't seem like it would turn out to be a bore of a name. Like a beautiful classic style leather arm chair you know?"

I don't think Henry is too popular or will sound humdrum. In fact, I've found when I've announced the birth of our newest grandson Henry, many people seem suprised by his name. And Henry sounds quintessentially English to me, with all those Kings and Princes called Henry, including today's Prince Harry (Henry Charles Albert David).

Have you seen the nameberry blog on Henry:
"Henry has a lot going for it. Let us count the ways:

HENRY IS POPULAR, WELL-LIKED, BUT NOT EPIDEMICALLY TRENDY.

At #78 on the Social Security list last year, Henry was given to fewer than 4,000 boys across the country. It was much more commonly heard in the past, having been #10 in 1900, 12 in the 1910s, 18 in the twenties, 25 in the thirties, then dipping to a low of 146 in 1994, after which it started its edge back up.

HENRY HAS A TON OF WORTHY NAMESAKES..."

http://nameberry.com/blog/2009/10/07/hooray-for-henry-the-quirky-classic-that-manages-to-stay-cool/

Henry would be a fine name for your little boy, and it may be that HE would prefer that name to Duncan too.

So I'd say either one -- Duncan or Henry, whichever feels 'right' to you and your husband.

Patricia said...

It just occurred to me that Liam (#49) is more popular than Henry (#71), and neither sounds boring or humdrum to me. Maybe because when you consider all the names boys were given in 2009, not all that many boys were given either of these names -- less than 1% for each name:
Liam - .4043% of boys born in 2009 were given that name
Henry - .2786%

mooncakemama said...

lWow, Patricia, I am sooo glad to have gotten a chance to pick your brain on my names! I feel very lucky as you have such a wealth of knowledge and good taste :0) Thanks again for taking the time to write me! Im so glad the baby is staying put while I go through my deliberations. Naming this little guy has not been an easy task as I have the other kiddos names to consider in the mix and my picky (yes, he is too) hubbys opinions as well. Heck, if he wasnt in the picture I am sure I would have been settled on Jasper from day one. But alas, thats not an option LOL! Anyway, I know Liam was my fav back in 2003 when it really wasnt that heard of that much (think it was in the 300's then) now it seems pretty well known here with my Liam being one of 3 in his preschool 2 years ago. So I get bummed a bit, I guess I never saw it coming! I think it seems more and more people are striving for uncommon/less common names and then they all find themselves in the same boat a few years later with their child who ends up having a very common name. I wonder if staying with a traditional classic would actually be safer ultimately. I just want my kiddos to have that special name, you know? I also should have known not to share my newfound excitement re my new name choice duncan with some family members because their opinions werent very kind. I know I shouldnt care. And maybe I shouldnt have shared either, I was just excited. Well, sorry Im rambling! Blame the preggo hormones for my indecisiveness I guess :0) and now on top of it all, both Miles and Henry are shared with an aquaintance friend of mine and a distant cousin which makes me worried that they will think I am copying them. I know, thats silly and I worry too much. But some people can get so darn name territortial.
well, thank you sooooo very much for all your input and I welcome anymore thoughts you may want to share at anytime. I feel so lucky to have found you and this great blog xo

Patricia said...

Hi Michelle, I'm still thinking about your name quest. You mentioned that your husband is picky and doesn't like Jasper, which seems to have been your first choice for this baby. So does he like all 4 of the names you're considering -- and in the same order?

Your criteria for this baby's name seems to be:
--a British name, preferably "Celtic" but not necessarily so
--a name that goes well with your other children's names-- Liam (Irish/Celtic) and Fiona (originated in Scotland)
--you seem to prefer names that aren't too popular, but on the other hand, you're willing to consider Henry, an English classic

Duncan, #1 on your list, meets each criteria: has Irish and Scottish associations like your other children's names and while a known name, isn't too popular.

I think it's sometimes hard to choose a name like Duncan that's really a great name, but few people know anything about it. I'm sorry that your family members weren't kind about the name when you mentioned it. But did you really expect that they would be? What style of names do they prefer? Probably not the same as you. And did you share your older children's names with them before Liam and Fiona were born? Those names were pretty unknown a generation ago in this country, probably more so than Duncan. And what about Henry, have you asked their opinions on that name. ("Where did they come up with *Henry*?" my SIL asked of my newest grandson's name. My response: "I suggested it..." "Oh...") YOU know that Duncan is a fine name, so I'd try not to worry about other's responses. If you decide to call him Duncan, your family may soon decide Duncan is a very special name after all because of who the name represents to them.

As for Henry and Miles being used by a friend and cousin, I wouldn't be concerned about that either. There are thousands of boys with those names. Most likely your friend or cousin won't mind if you happen to like their son's name too.

I think you *may* be agonizing too much over choosing this baby's name.;-) It might help to list the pros and cons of each name you and your husband are considering, as *you* see it. Maybe that will help you decide.

I think Liam and Fiona are very compatible sibling names, and it would be great if you could come up with a name for their little brother which has the same style. I looked at sibling names (REAL siblings not suggestions) on Namipedia:
Duncan's sibling list includes both Liam and Fiona.
Liam's sibling list also includes Irish/Gaelic brother names Conner, Declan and Gavin. I think Gavin would work well with Liam and Fiona too, although it may be more popular than what you're comfortable with.

Patricia said...

You may not know any boys called Duncan, so I looked for some online. I've found that visuals often help to see how another child "wears" the name. I came across this darling little boy named Duncan:

"Duncan turned 9 years old in June and is currently in 4th grade at Maple Hills Elementary. He plays soccer in the Recreational league, but extended his season this year to include some indoor soccer. His latest passion is gymnastics, which he started this fall."

http://www.magendanz.com/Chads%20Pictures/Duncan%203-08.jpg

It looks like this Duncan is doing well with his name!

Patricia said...

Last evening I checked to see how many birth announcements there have been in the London Telegraph for Duncan in the past 5 years: very few. But what struck me was the number of dads named Duncan. I looked up the name in limited long-term baby name stats that I've found for England (10 year intervals) and was surprised to discover that Duncan was a Top 100 name there in the 1960s and '70s:
1964 - Duncan ranked 75
1974 - Duncan ranked 66.

That said, I'm wondering if Miles might be the best name of your 4 contenders for you and your family. I've never paid much attention to the name, but looking it up in the Oxford Dictionary of First Names (UK 2006), I was favorably impressed:
"Miles - Of Norman origin but uncertain derivation. Unlike most Norman names it is, as far as can be ascertained, not derived from any known Old French or Germanic name element. It may be a greatly altered pet form of Michael, which came to be associated with the Latin word 'miles' "soldier" because of the military attributes of the archangel Michael. However, the usual Latin form of the name in the Middle Ages was 'Milo"... The name has been in regular use in England since the 16th century."

And there's an Irish connection with the variant spelling Myles: "Anglicized form of Maoira (male)..." Listed in Oxford's Irish Names: "Maoira - Modern spelling, common particularly in the west of Ireland, of earlier 'Maoil-Mhuire', 'devotee of Mary'. It has been Anglicized as Myles."

Most recent ranking of Miles, Milo, Myles in England and Wales:
Miles - #184
Milo - 181
Myles - #213

Between Miles and Henry, I think Miles is more compatible with Liam. Henry may sound too formal and too 'ultimate classic' when paired with Liam, an Irish short form of William. Too, Miles may feel more comfortable for you and your family, extended included, because it's heard more often than Duncan, without being overly popular. USA 2009 stats:
Miles 162
Milo 451
Myles 265

I think Liam, Fiona and Miles sound very well together.

How about Miles Jonathan McCartney?

Patricia said...

Baby name reviews for Duncan (mostly positive and rated 8.75 out of 10)
http://pregnancyandbaby.com/baby_names/Boys/D/Duncan.html

and for Miles (rated 9.25/10)
http://pregnancyandbaby.com/baby_names/Boys/M/Miles.html

I noticed a Miles Paul and think Miles John would work for you too, as Miles, like Charles, sounds like it has about 1.5 syllables.

Duncan and Miles -- both fine names, all boy, with long histories of use in Britain. I don't think you can 'go wrong' with either of them. It's really just a matter of which name you and your husband like the most.

mooncakemama said...

Thank you so much, Patricia! You really have been a Godsend with all your help and support. I enjoyed reading what you researched a lot. What is great about Miles is if its a derivative of Michael, its a derivative of my name too! I think that is kinda fun! Btw we are a small statured family (I know, here i go again with my worries ;0) ) but do you think being that he will most likely be a peanut as well that Milo is a cutsey name and will possibly lead to teasing when hes a teen? I know kids tease no matter what but Id hate to set him up for that. I personally think it sounds strong (something about that "o" and the movie Milo and Otis is pretty old now so perhaps most kids wont know of it...I know if we have his name be Miles formally he could always start referring to himself as that too which could help. I guess im not too conerned. just thinking. Anyway, I look forward to hearing from you. I cant wait to tell you who we end up having when this is all over with! I can send you a picture of him if you would want via private email too since you have been such a pivital person in helping me think through the names. I keep looking around at other names and ones we kind of eliminated since our preg journey began just in case but so far, its still Miles, Duncan, and Henry in that order. My hubby is still holding out for Attiucs. I just dont think it fits and almost sounds too harsh or something to me...guess we'll see whe he arrives. Well, again
Patricia, you have been such a wonderful help for me and my family and I cant thank you enough!!!!

Patricia said...

Hi Michelle, I see you've changed your order of preference and Miles "Milo" is now in the lead. I love to research names that interest me and so this evening I've been looking at bit more at Miles and Milo, particularly Milo since that's what you've said you'd be calling your baby if his given name is Miles.

I found many babies and boys named Milo. I don't know if the name has any particular image regarding stature or maturity, but I think there will be enough boys/men called Milo that they'll be just as varied as boys/men called Liam.

Speaking of which, look what I came across: "We have two beautiful boys and their names are Liam and Milo."
http://www.baskinginbirth.com/About_Us.html

That makes me wonder if you should just name him Milo if that's the name you like best. Milo is really a variant of Miles and not a nickname. And while Milo could be used as a nn, it stands just as well on its own. Too, I'm wondering if your other kids go by nicknames or are called by their given names. Is Liam's given name William? However, the Miles "Milo" combination would give him another option when he's older. I can see reasons to name him Miles nn Milo and also to just name him Milo.

In London Telegraph birth announcements during the last 5 years, there were 24 boys named Milo and 17 named Miles, one of whom was announced as "Miles James (Milo)."

Patricia said...

I found a little more about Miles and Milo in two of my best name books (besides "Oxford").
Penguin Reference Dictionary of First Names, England 2004. "MILES - English first name of uncertain origin. Attempts have been made to trace it back to the Roman MILO, itself possibly from the Latin 'miles' (soldier)...Other derivatives from Old German suggest it means 'merciful' or 'generous'. The name came to England with the Normans and often appeared as MILO in medieval times. It has remained in use ever since, enjoying a minor vogue in the 18th century. It has long been a popular name in Ireland, perhaps through association with the legendary King Milesius of Spain, an early invader of Ireland. The Irish have also used it as a translation for [some Celtic names]. In recent years it enjoyed a resurgence in popularity among English speakers in the 1960s and again in the 1990s.

Notable bearers of the name have included a character in the 15th-century Coventry mystery plays, English Bible translator Miles Coverdale (1488-1568)... Also found as Myles... MILO came back into fashion in the 19th century..."

And from "The Great Big Book of Baby Names", 2006, by American Name Society President Cleveland Kent Evans, Ph.D., regarding MILO (which is given it's own listing) - "This was originally the Latin written form of MILES in medieval records. MILO came to be used on its own in the 19th century when the Victorians revived many medieval names, and it was also used in Ireland to Anglicize 'Mael Muire, a Gaelic name... It was used fairly often, especially in Irish=American families, through the 1920s, but it then fell away and almost vanished by 1960. Around 2000 it was taken up as a "cool" name by the avant garde..."

From BabyNamesPedia: "Milo is a rather popular baby boy name, and it is also regarded as trendy. The name has been increasing in popularity since the 2000s. At the modest height of its usage in 2008, 0.029% of baby boys were named Milo. It had a ranking of #449 then. In 2008, within the family of boy names directly related to Milo, Miles was the most regularly used. It was more regularly used than Milo by 4 times in that year. "

Regarding Miles: "The name is of disputed origin. Its medieval form was the Roman name Milo (Latin), itself from the element miles ('soldier'), possibly influenced from the association with the name Michael and the archangel Michael, the patron saint of soldiers... Miles is a popular baby boy name, and it is also viewed as trendy. The name has been increasing in popularity since the 1940s. At the recent height of its usage in 2008, 0.108% of baby boys were given the name Miles. It had a ranking of #167 then. Within all boy names in its family, Miles was the 2nd most popular after Michael in 2008. It was more widely used than Miles by 9 times in that year." [This source regards Miles as a form of Michael, and I know that's a 'bonus' for you with this name.]

I think any of your names still in the running -- Miles, Duncan or Henry -- would be a fine choice. I agree that Atticus just doesn't fit with your other children's names, nor does it have a good nn to help it along. Maybe your husband should get to make the final choice between your three as a 'consolation prize'???

I'd love to see a photo of your baby, but of course can't put my email address on an open forum like this. Do you happen to use Facebook?

I hope you're feeling well. Just 10 days until your due date!

Patricia said...

PS Regarding your concern about "Milo and Otis", most likely that movie will be around for many years. I recently found it on a $5 DVD rack of children's films. I've never watched it, but my 7-year-old twin grandsons enjoy it.

I also just came across -- online -- a line of trendy, Japanese designed clothing and other items called "Baby Milo", which appear to be popular worldwide:
http://www.baby-milos.com/what-is-baby-milo.asp

I also learned during my online search that Milo is a fairly popular name for pets. That's not surprising because many 'baby names' are being used for pets, particularly those that have a short and peppy sound to them - Max, Sam, Molly, Gracie, etc.

I wouldn't be concerned about any of this because it's the 'people' image that I think is important and just about every name has something of concern (large or small) about it (like your worry about a Duncan being teased with 'Dunkin Donuts'). But since I came across these things, I thought I should share them with you.

I personally like very traditional/classic names and prefer Miles to Milo, but can see the latter's appeal too. Still I would most likely name a boy Miles even if I planned to call him Milo. Miles sounds more traditional and English to me. I also like Celtic/Gaelic names very much. Like you, I find names from the British Isles very appealing and interesting.

mooncakemama said...

Hi Patricia! Its so much fun getting posts from you! I am getting spoiled for sure! thanks again for all your great thoughts. I cant wait to look up the Japanese clothing line, how cool! Did you know the name Atticus also is a clothing line? Wild! I am very much into Anime if its anything like that, that would be so fun! I love the idea that Milo/Miles means "merciful" god knows we have had some tough times lately so a name with that attibute would be rather nice. I also love that it is not solely an Irish name but British/English too. Some how I really love that it has both flavors. I agree Milo may be good alone esp with Liam (esp since our Liam is just "Liam") But my hubby thinks Miles is a tad more professional for the later years. I guess I would tend to agree. I also love the fact that the name had a peak in the 20's (one of my fav time periods for sure). I dont like that it is considered "trendy" according to Babynamepedia, makes me fear it will be another Ava/madison name later on. how likely do you think that would be in a few years? I am not good with percentages and the like. Atticus is the name hubs and Liam adore still but Miles is a good comprimise for my hubby. We may squeeze Atticus in the middle name so Miles Atticus John would be his name. I would name him Atticus Milo and then just call him Milo but Hubs is opposed to that idea. I dont like the nn for Atticus of Atti at all (too feminine) and Ace is way to grandiose for me. So thats another hesitation i have with the name. I guess if the name really fits him when he arrives, even though it doesnt fit the other kids names as well, if we really like it we may just be rebels and use it anyway ;0) I just wished I had thought about what I named my first born before i did with the consideration of future other kids but it never crossed my mind. Oh! One great thing to check out that sort of sums up the evolution of my name choice for Milo coincidentally is on youtube. Look up Matt the Electriction and he sings "Milo" (great song great story!). What is funny is my hubby didnt like the name at all just like Matt the electrician. But the difference is my hubby is coming around to the name, phew! its been a long road though and I must admit his intitial resisitance kinda took a little bit of the magic away from it, but not enough where I wouldnt still consider it
:0)
Well, thanks again for your help and expertise! you truly are a true Baby Name Guru, Patricia! BTW I am on FB but my last name is really not Mccartney (close though) for privacy reasons here I didnt want to diclose it. If there is another way to let you know my last name, i could share it there. or perhaps i can find a way to post a pic on here?
Im gonna go look up that clothing line now!
all the best to you, Guru :0)
M

Patricia said...

Michelle, it's interesting to see your name ideas evolving as you draw ever closer to the big day. It sounds like Atticus is still a possibility. I was surprised that Liam is rooting for Atticus along with your hubby. I'm wondering how old Liam is and what his reference for the name is. I googled "Atticus", thinking there might be a superhero by that name ;-) ; I couldn't verify that hunch but did read about “In the Middle” child star Atticus Schaffer, age 11. ???

You may have read this Babynamespedia entry: ATTICUS, meaning 'from Attica', was the nickname of Titus Pomponius (112-35 BC), a prominent philosopher and close friend of Cicero. Attica is a region in Greece containing Athens. In recent times, the name has been popularized after it appeared in Harper Lee's Pulitzer prize-winning novel To Kill a Mockingbird (1960) as the name of the wise and just lawyer Atticus Finch. Lee based the name of his [should be *her* unless Truman Capote really wrote the book, as has been claimed for years] protagonist on the Roman philosopher. The name Aticus is a variant form of the name. Another variant of Atticus is the pet form Cus.

A mention on Appellationmountain: Atticus – a name oft-cited as fashion-forward, but still exceedingly rare.

Nameberry authors include Atticus among their Hipster Baby Names and in their newest book, "Beyond Ava and Aiden", say of the name: "...once you've settled on a name, you deal with its myriad implications, often for the first time. You may discover, for instance... that friends have to suppress a snicker when you tell them you've named your son Atticus." (Have you mentioned Atticus to your family members who rejected Duncan? They may change their minds...)

American Name Society president Cleveland Kent Evans, PhD, in his baby name book says of Atticus: "Most Americans will have read Harper Lee's classic novel "To Kill a Mockingbird" in high school or college literature class. The hero of that story is Atticus Finch... The 1962 film based on this novel starring Gregory Peck is considered one of the classics of American cinema. Atticus was too far out as a name to make an impact with parents in the 1960s, but it has gotten some notice the last few years... It will be interesting to see if Atticus and Maximus will be the forerunners of a new fashion for classical boys names ending in -us."

That brings to mind your mention that your son will probably be of small stature. Maybe Atticus is too big a name for a man who isn't tall? This came up when one of my sons was considering Maximus for his second son and again for his third. My son and his wife are both of small stature too, and I felt that Maximus wouldn't suit one of their sons. (Their first son is Christopher, and the younger boys are Alexander and Nicholas aka "Nico".)

Atticus is not being used much in the UK. It wasn't in any of my British name dictionaries or baby name books. There were only 13 boys named Atticus in Enland/Wales in 2008. In London Telegraph birth announcements from 1/1/2004 to today, only 2 boys were named Atticus, although 7 boys had Atticus as one of their middle names. That's where I like Atticus best too - as a very substantial middle name. Two examples you may find interesting:

WALTON-HAYFIELD
On 26th March 2008, to Rebecca and Mark, a precious son, Ptolemy Ned, brother to the gorgeous Atticus Monty, and the beautiful Octavius Kit.

GWYNNE MAITLIS
On July 13th,2004, at St Mary's Hospital, Paddington, to Emily and Mark, a son, Milo Atticus.

Patricia said...

(I keep exceeding the number of words allowed and have to move part of my remarks to a new comment box.)

It seems to me that Miles Atticus John (Milo) has about everything you're looking for in a name for your second son. I like it and agree that Miles sounds more professional than Milo. (I'd definitely go that way.)

I was relieved to know that my PS 'revelations' didn't discourage you from using Milo. What do you think of Baby Milo? I think there was anime in at least one of the websites I came across. I liked the story behind Matt the Electrician's "Milo".

Regarding your concern about the trendiness of Miles and Milo, I looked at Babynamespedia again and there is no description of what criteria they use to determine if a name is "trendy", but they do say they consider 166 boys' names to be trendy. Looking at SSA data, in 2009 Miles went up 5 places, while Milo went down 4; the names are currently ranked 162 and 447. I don't think there's any reason to worry that either will reach the Top 10 (like Ava and Madison) in the near future, if at all.

I looked for you on FB and came across a family profile photo that looked like it might be your family: do you include your maiden name and is it D____C____?

I'm glad to know my research, data and comments are of some help to you. I've never before written so much about baby names under consideration to anyone other than my own family. It was your consideration of Duncan that got me so interested in your name 'journey'. All the best to you and your family...

mooncakemama said...

Hi Patricia! I am so glad to hear from you again! You truly are a wealth of knowledge and i feel like I hit the jackpot! Your family is soooo lucky!
Liam is 6 (btw that's me on
fb!) and I think he likes the name Atticus because daddy loves it so much. That's my guess. And hubby and I have been debating between his (daddys) Atticus choice and my Milo and Jasper choices out in the open so Liam hears us all the time! Lol I too wonder about a small sized kid with such a big name. And there is almost no doubt this one will be petite like the rest of us in the fam!
I think the baby Milo monkey is cute btw! How fun to get some shirts with that cute monkey on it and his name too.
Yes, this name evolution is such a roller coaster ride for me. I think I just can't feel certain until he's in my arms. Fiona was 3 days old before I finally decided on her name (she was almost ada or iris!) anyway, thank you for being patient with me as I am ride this ride:0) I hope you aren't exhausted now! I do feel a lot more confident though in those three (maybe four) choices as my top contenders even now as I
still sift through all the baby names out there just in case but I'm a lot more relaxed now for sure. I can't thank you enough for taking all your time and being so kind to a total stranger. You really seem like a good person and you are welcome to friend me in fb if you so choose. One thing, I am not sharing my name choices on there. I also put my second duedate on there as my duedate (the u/s one) which is
June 3 and not my charted one (may 30ish which I mentioned here) so to not have to deal with
the pressure if I go late like I did with f. It made me really
stressed out when people kept asking day after day once my duedate past with Fiona so this gives me a few more days. So thank you in advance for not sharing that on fb if you decide to friend me. Well, I see I'm rambling again! Better go get some sleep now. Thank you for taking the time (once again) for all your thoughts!
It's been a pleasure and an honor!
M