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Friday, June 11, 2010

Baby Naming Issue: Two Possible Surnames

Farrell writes:
My cousin is pregnant with a boy and due in July. She is overwhelmed a bit with everything, as she is single and this was a surprise. She also had no idea how difficult it would be to find a name!

My cousin likes traditional names but not names that are too common. She does like somewhat unique names, as long as they are not "off the wall." Her sister has a baby named Daniel, so that is out. Four names that she has come across so far that she likes are:

* Brendan
* Terrance
* Nathaniel
* Ian

My cousin definitely wants to use the middle name Michael (after her father). This is her first child. The other complicated factor is that my cousin is not sure which last name the baby will have - hers or the father's. Hers rhymes with "Wiley" and his with "Keen."
So it will either be Baby ____ Michael Wiley or Baby ____ Michael Keen.


Oh, I do like the name Terrance! I have a highly positive association I mentioned a few posts ago, with the nice boy in my elementary school who didn't try to step on the girls' toes during square dancing. And it goes well with both surname possibilities.

My own favorite name on the list is Ian, but only with the surname that sounds like Wiley. If she ends up using Keen, the name Evan is similar to Ian but might sound better with it (depending on what the surname actually is).

And I think Nathaniel and Brendan are both great names too, so I'm hesitant to complicate things by adding to her list! And yet that is what I do, and so onward!

I like Wesley if the surname is Keen, though not if it's Wiley. Wesley Michael Keen.

I like Gideon either way, though more if it's Wiley: Gideon Michael Wiley, Gideon Michael Keen.

I like Elliot either way: Elliot Michael Wiley, Elliot Michael Keen.

I like Sebastian either way: Sebastian Michael Wiley, Sebastian Michael Keen.

I like Edmund with Wiley, but it's a little hard to say with Keen: Edmund Michael Wiley, Edmund Michael Keen.

I like Phillip either way: Phillip Michael Wiley, Phillip Michael Keen.

I like Jonathan either way: Jonathan Michael Wiley, Jonathan Michael Keen.

I like Simon either way, though I'm less sure about Simon Wiley (too much long-I sound?): Simon Michael Keen, Simon Michael Wiley.

Name update 07-10-2010! Farrell writes:
Brendan Michael Keen was born on June 26, 2010. Baby and Mommy are doing well:) He is a big boy and is healthy...I am still waiting for my cousin to send me a picture!!!


Farrell said...

Thank you!

StephLove said...

If they can't settle on a surname, they could always hyphenate. I think any of those names would go with Wiley-Keen. (I usually like the longer surname first in these situations.)

Ian Michael Wiley-Keen is my favorite.

Patricia said...

Ian Michael is my favorite too. (I know a young man named Ian Michael __ly.)

Would she consider Owen? Owen Michael sounds great and would go with either surname.

I like Nathaniel a lot, but think think NathaniEL MichaEL sounds a bit repetitive.

My concern about Terrence is that he might become "Terry"; when Terry was a popular name for boys, some parents used Terrence as a longer form of the name on the birth certificate. I don't find Terry masculine enough.

I have similar concerns about Brendan -- only one letter away from Brenda.

Best wishes to your cousin.

Kelley said...

I personally think Ter (like, to tear a piece of paper) would probably be the more common nickname, and that sounds pretty masculine to me. Rence might be another option, I actually really like that!

If Terry is a deal breaker for Terrance, I'll suggest Lawrence/Laurence. I don't think the Laurie nn will be a concern unless a person has read Little Women, and last time I checked it wasn't on the Kindergarten reading list ;-) However, I do think the Lawrence spelling would solve that problems. Potential nn's of Law, Larry, and Rence.

Since pseudonyms are being used for the last names, it's hard to tell, but is either plausible for a first name? Because that might be a good compromise.

beyond said...

My husband and I have different last names (and we are not fond of hyphenated names) so our kid will be First Middle Myname Hisname, which means that Myname is sort of like a second middle name, and will not be used often, however, it is there if the kid wants to use it later on in life. Maybe this would be a possibility in this case?
I think I like Ian best from the list. And Sebastian from Swistle's list. Other possibilities:
(Alexander Michael Wiley Keen, Alexander Keen; Gabriel Michael Keen Wiley, Gabriel Wiley)
Good luck to your cousin!

Elvie said...

Nathaniel Michael doesn't have ideal flow, because of the L-ending repetition, but how many times do you really use the full name, anyway?

My vote of your cousin's current options would definitely be the handsome Nathaniel, which sounds good with both Wiley and Keen, in my opinion.

As well as Swistle's suggestions of Sebastian and to a lesser extent Jonathan, both of which I think are nice, I'll add Theodore to the bunch. Utterly handsome, and with a score of great nickname options, including Ted, Teddy and Theo.

Theodore Michael Wiley.
Theodore Michael Keen.

Both are perfection, in my opinion!

Meg said...

I'm going to weigh in on the last name issue. If your sister is no longer with the baby's father and isn't expecting a long term relationship with him I think the baby should have her name. It's difficult when mom has one name and baby has another when dealing with doctors, schools, etc. Good luck!

Farrell said...

Baby name update!
Brendan Michael Keen was born on June 26, 2010. Baby and Mommy are doing well:) He is a big boy and is healthy...I am still waiting for my cousin to send me a picture!!!