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Monday, July 26, 2010

Baby Boy Ingrum

Tricia writes:
My first child, a boy, is due August 14, and I am in desperate need of your expertise and ideas.

My last name is pronounced "ING-grum."

We are going to be a Mom-Kid family, so using a name that connects to the males in my family tree holds great appeal but there are only two under serious consideration. The first of these is William - my grandfather. I like the name, but I don't LOVE it, and I despair that it's so common. The second name is Edgar, and the history there is pretty deep: my dad, great-uncle (who died in WWII shortly before my father was born) and great-grandfather. I don't have any siblings, so the name stopped with my dad. My dad uses the nn Ted, and it's perfect on him, but I can’t quite wrap my brain around it for my son. Ed/Eddie are not options as a nickname.

If nothing else, I'll probably use either William or Edgar as a mn.

I should also note that my dad's middle name is Grey (it was his mother's maiden name). It's on my list of possibilities, and I'd love it if there weren't the rather gloomy, grey-day association.

I'd prefer to give my son a formal name that has a nickname, but I tend to only like the nickname for many of the options I’m considering. Also, a lot of sounds either clash with ING-grum, or blur into it – for example Chris sounds like Chri-sing-grum, but paired with Alec, the "Ing" tends to sound like "Ink" - at least when I say it!

I’m athletic and outdoorsy. My personal style tends to be eclectic, classic or comfortable, versus trendy, hip or artsy. My family genealogy can best be described as western European mutt -- not much to draw on there, and I find myself shying away from names that have especially strong ethnic associations because they feel "phony" when applied to me.

Some of the names I like, with caveats:
Leo – very appealing to me, but might be too much of a hipster name. Also, I don’t like Leonard as a formal name. AND, he’s probably going to be a Leo (astrologically speaking), so maybe this is too much? I know you just addressed Leo in a recent post, and based on that, I'm giving "Leo as a complete name" more consideration.
Theo – an homage to my dad's nn of Ted - I like Theo, but the "dore" in Theodore bugs me
Alexander – LOVE but too popular?
Max – have loved this name forever, not crazy about Maximilian, Maximus, etc.
Graham – appeals to me, but friends have vetoed it because the spelling (but not pronunciation) is identical to the second syllable of my ln
Patrick – but not with nn Pat
Quinn – kind of blurs with "ING-grum"
Grey – cute, but gloomy

Names that are ‘taken’ by friends/family, or that I’ve otherwise ruled out:

I feel like I'm all over the map! Can you please give me some direction??

Thank you so much!

Edgar seems like a great option for you: unusual, with huge family ties. But it sounds like you definitely want a nickname but you don't want any of the nicknames for Edgar. So let's rule Edgar out as a first name.

Well, wait. Wait wait wait. What about naming him Edgar Grey Ingrum, and using Grey as the nickname? It's a little bit of a reach, but I like so much your idea of using family names here. He'd be Edgar Grey Ingrum II, I think---since he's not a Jr. and yet he'd have the same name as your father---but you wouldn't HAVE to use the II. It seems like a pretty excellent way to give your son strong male family ties and carry on an important family name that might otherwise be lost---plus you could use a name you love but might feel uncertain about using in the first-name slot because of the gloominess associations you mention. (I myself associate grey with grey flannel pants and with dreamy grey eyes.)

Name update! Tricia writes:
It has been more than a year(!!) since you helped me with my naming dilemma. I'm ashamed to be this late in saying thank you to you and your readers, but Thank You.

You wrote: "What about naming him Edgar Grey Ingrum, and using Grey as the nickname?"
I read that, and burst into tears. Yes, I was 8.5 months pregnant and a touch weepy, but even then, the crying caught me off guard. Each time I checked comments or reread your advice, I had the same teary response.

Edgar still seemed like a big, clunky name for my wee baby, so I wasn't completely sold until my son arrived. From the first moment, he looked exactly like my dad. I was flush with emotion and love for my family. And so he is Edgar - the FIFTH in our family line. (if you're wondering how that works, we're a mom-kid family - hence my son has the same last name as me and my dad)

His middle name is Graysen, and that's what everyone calls him. Fits him beautifully, and my dad, Edgar Gray (not Grey, as I wrote earlier), is so tickled with his little namesake.

Thanks again!


MonkeyBusiness said...

I totally don't associate Grey with gloomy either! Maybe it's the super-hot guy named Grey I dated in college?

Miranda said...

What about Greyer or Greyson? LOVE.

LoriD said...

I like Grey William Ingrum. Grey is a favourite name of mine - so handsome... not gloomy at all!

StephLove said...

I like Greyson a lot for you, esp. since he will be the descendent of someone who has Grey in his name.

William is a great name, too, even with its popularity.

Anonymous said...

I would use Greyson Edgar or Greyson William for sure!! Oh, or how about Tucker Grey Ingrum?

beyond said...

I love Grey (or Greysen or Greyson) for you. Not gloomy. I like it with either William or Edgar as a mn. Other great possibility is William Grey. (William may be popular but it's also fantastic.)
How about Henry? Maybe Henry would be good for you. It's eclectic, classic and comfortable. Henry Grey Ingrum.
Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I also don't have any gloomy connotations with the name Grey. I love it and think it sounds great with your last name. I think Edgar Grey might be too many "G" sounds with your last name, but love William Grey or Grey William Ingram!

I also think you could use William with Leo, Theo or Max as a mn without having to use the longer version and call your son by his middle name.

PS - Just read the other comments and love Tucker Grey too!

Alison aka Baby B said...

I had a great-uncle Grey. Love the name. Grey reminds me of comforting grey skies (I like rain), warm blankets (mmm), dove grey (a very pretty AND handsome color, imho), and my uncle (of course).

And I don't find Leo to be hipster, since that's the name of my 90 year old step-grandpa. :D (Not a nn, his given name is really Leo.)

As much I think Leo is adorable, I like Swistle's suggestion of Edgar Grey. He could go by Edgar or Grey. If you want to start out calling him Grey, I say go right ahead! I have known multiple people who go by their middle names by choice or by parental design.

Kelley said...

Another potential nickname for Edgar that no one seems to have mentioned is Ned. It's traditionally a nickname for Edward, but I don't see any more of a connection to Edward than I do to Edgar.

If that still doesn't do it for you, I really like Grey, or any of it's longer forms (Greyson, Greyer, Graydon, heck you could even do Grady, w/Gray as a nn). It doesn't make me think of gloomy skies at all.

Jess said...

I agree that Grey and Greyson sound great with your last name. I don't get a gloomy feel about this at all.

I also really like Edgar. I know some men who go by the full name of Edgar and it sounds so distinguished. If you must have a nn for this name, then I do like Ned or Teddy.

Grey Edgar Ingrum. Beautiful with no confusion of II or Jr.

Edgar Grey Ingrum with nn Grey. So cute as well. I know many more families that use the same name for the father and the son that chose to use the middle name for the son instead of Junior.

From your other list, I think Elliot sounds the best with your last name. Elliot Grey Ingrum. Also lovely.

I know that you said you'd prefer to have a formal name with a nn, but do you notice that almost all of your list are names that don't have ready nn's. I wouldn't sweat the nn issue at all. Garrett, Elliot, Quinn, Parker - all great names, but they don't have easy nns.

Good luck!

Megz said...

If you like Graham but not the spelling, can you use the spelling Graeme instead?

Where I live both spellings are pronounced the same (Grey-um) which also has the Grey tie in if you wanted.

Emily S. said...

I like Greyson too!
Would you like William more if you use the nn Liam?
I also like Alexander and you could use a less popular nn for him like Lex or Xander.
You could use Leo as a nn for Lionel.
Good luck!

Suzanne said...

I watch too much TV, so Grey reminds me of Grey's Anatomy but I still really like it. It is cute on a kid and very distinguished on an adult.

I think Liam is an AWESOME nn for William. Much better than "Biff" which is what my dad uses. William Grey is my favorite.

Oh, and on the Jr/II thing: My husband is a II because he's named after his father and his mom didn't want anyone calling him Junior. Since your son would have the same name as your dad I'm sure you could use the II title but you're off by a generation and would probably get a lot of "Oh he's named after his daddy!" remarks. Although, truthfully, my son is a III and I almost NEVER tell people about the number so it will be more of an issue when he grows up and has to sign stuff himself.

Lucy said...

I just want to say I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the name Edgar. If we ever have a boy, it is a definite possibility. Although we also dislike the Ed/Eddie nicknames, so I'm not sure what we will do about that.

Peyton said...

I just finished a book where the hero's name was Edgar, but he went by "Edge." Now, the character was definitely channeling a rebel-without-a-cause thing (though I suppose he did have a cause), and I don't know how much you'll love the little bad boy feel, but I think it's cute.

Erin said...

I LOVE Greyson. I also quite like Edgar, and the nn Edge is sharp. Also, like the above poster suggested, what about the name Will (as a full) or Liam, as a diminutive of William, middle name Edgar or Grey?

The other thing is, the baby will have your last name, which (this is a guess) already descended from your father and grandfather - so you could always give him a name on your mothers side, or even part of your name. Maybe your moms maiden name (or current last name if she didnt change it) could work too? I'm all for more female representation in names!

I also really like Garrett on your list!

K said...

Grey (as a name) sounds sophisticated and not gloomy to me! And I live in a very grey climate.

Barb @ getupandplay said...

I am going to pipe up for Alexander. I don't think it's too popular at all! (I don't know any baby Alexanders!)

The Mrs. said...

Nicknames for the wonderful name of Edgar:

Reg (Reh-j)

Any appeal?

Edgar seems like a fantastic choice because of your family connections and its masculine character, too.

Best wishes!

L. said...

Ooh I LOVE Grey, and definitely wouldn't worry about any associations! I also think Edgar and William are great options for middle names. My next favourite would be Elliot, and if you wanted a nickname you could always go with Eli (but personally I prefer it without the nn) I know Max is popular right now but it is also such a great you have any French in your family? Maxime is a nice option. Or you could just use it as a stand alone name too.

cass said...

What about pairing Edgar with a middle name that gives you an initial-based nickname? Something like Edgar James (E.J.) - I know you said you'd ruled out James, but maybe there's another similar name that could work.

Also, FWIW, I think Theo is fine as a stand alone name.

Adey said...

I must also say I love love love Grey/Greyson.
When I got to that part of your post I went "Oh Cool!" and then read the part about you thinking it was gloomy and I had to pause and think because I hadn't thought that at all.
I absolutely thought "cool" and then "hot" lol

I definitely like Greyson with the nickname Grey.
I also like the suggestiong of Tucker.
Not a big fan of Edgar sorry! (but there are a lot worse names out there!!)

Leah said...

Aww, this update made me teary! How lovely!