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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Baby Boy Adcock

Alexis writes:
Hello! We are expecting our second son this September 13, and are completely baffled as to what this little child's name should be. Last go-round, it was easy. We named our first son Emerson immediately, and that was it. Now we find that, strangely, little girls have started appearing with the same name as boy #1. We still love his name and it totally suits him, but if we can exclude names also used for girls, it would be nice.

My husband's last name (and the last name of our kiddos) is Adcock. We both loved the name Pierce until we realized that Pierce Adcock would probably be called Prince Albert all of his life. We also like Arlo, but aren't 100% sold on it. We love literary names (hence Emerson) and names related to music, but are open to other suggestions. We want to use a family name as a middle name, which will probably end up being James or Douglas. Here are our finalists:


I think that, honestly, if we used any of these names, we'd probably be happy, but we just can't decide! Also, are some of these names becoming trendy or possibly used for girls? We are open for suggestions as well. Help us, Swistle!

Thank you!

I think we need a poll! I'll put it over to the right! (Poll closed; see results below.)

Name update 09-20-2010! Alexis writes:
Our baby boy arrived last week and, true to form, we dithered until the last possible minute. We had it narrowed down to three names, but when the birth certificate lady came in to give us an ultimatum on the last day in the hospital, my husband and I agreed on a name at the same time. Eliot James is a lovely big boy, and we are really grateful to everyone for helping us choose the perfect name for him!


StephLove said...

I think my answer for you depends on which of your criteria are most important to you. Beckett, Auden, Whitman and Elliott are the most obviously literary (though Archer makes me think of Archer Newland in the Age of Innocence).

Trendy is tricky to define, but Beckett is experiencing a very fast rise in popularity (entering the top 1000 only in 2006 and now at 413), which might be what you mean. Other names are more popular but rising more slowly like Miles or Elliott or Everett, or are holding nice and steady like Griffin (now at 233 almost exactly where it was in 2000). Chances are Beckett will overtake Griffin, though you really never know. And Archer just broke into the top 1000 last year at 679. Since it's only been on the list a year it's hard to say where it's going.

I've never heard any of those names used for girls, but people will do the darndest things.

I think my choice for you is Elliott. Nice literary name and rising in popularity but not too fast (it's at 350 now, up from 585 in 2000).

M.Amanda said...

I think Whitman matches best with Emerson and won't run into the too-popular problem or be stolen by the girls.

Patricia said...

I'd stay away from any names that are similar to names currently popular for girls. Elliott is still a predominantly male name, but could start being used more for girls due to the popularity of Ellie as a given name or nickname for girls. In 2009 2212 boys were named some spelling of Elliott, while 370 girls were called various spellings of the name. Everett could tie in with the popularity of girls' names beginning with Ev -- Evelyn, Evangeline, although it is still a predominantly male name. Beckett is very new as a given name, and I could see it eventually catching on as a girl's name too, with it's similarity to Becky, which isn't much used now but Rebecca is still fairly popular. (I was thinking that the 't' sound at the end of Elliott, Everett and Beckett might help keep them out of the girls' column until I remembered the increasing popularity of Charlotte.)

Auden was given to almost the same number of boys (44) and girls (39) in 2009; I can see that name eventually leaning to the girls' side due to the popularity of Audrey and similar names.

Only 17 American boys were named Whitman in 2009, and the name seems unlikely to be taken up as a girls' name. I think Whitman could be a good pairing with Emerson, as together the names emphasize the literary connection that appeals to you. But on the other hand, EmerSON (Ralph Waldo, 1803-1882) and his contemporary WhitMAN (Walt, 1819-1892) might be too close a pairing.

Thus, my vote is for Miles, my personal favorite of your list: Miles Douglas Adcock.

kimmyblair said...

While it doesn't appear to be a popular girl name, I was actually considering Beckett for my unborn daughter. I have seen it on several baby name websites as a possible girl name. Just a heads up as you wanted to avoid a boy name that could be used for girls.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I like Pierce, and never would have thought of the Prince Albert thing. I say go with it, since that's the name you love.

Clarabella said...

I like many of your choices but Auden is my favorite of them. Just a picky point from one who works in an English department: Emerson & Whitman were contemporary writers, and, honestly, hearing them together makes me think of an American Lit class. But if that's what you're going for: winner!

beyond said...

If you look at yesterday's post, you'll see Beckett (and many other boys'/surnames) in the running for a girl...
I like Arlo and Miles and Whitman for you. I also like Pierce, and you should go with that if you love it. (I would not have made the Prince Albert connection.)
Good luck!

Sara said...

I like Beckett and Griffin from your list, but I agree that Beckett might be headed to the girl column. I know a Pierce and he has no problems with unwanted nicknames. He loves his name. He has a brother named Yeats (or Yates, I can't remember how he spells it) which could be an option. Except it ends in S as does James and Douglas so maybe not.

My vote is Pierce James Adcock (to avoid the PDA initials with Douglas).

PS - My word verification is Flint. Flint Adcock? Nah. :)

Anonymous said...

I voted for Miles, but I also really like Archer and Griffin from your list!

I think Beckett, Auden and Elliott are all great names but seem to be in the "might become girl names" category.

I also like:


Good luck!

~ Annie

DEH said...

I didn't vote simply because I really think you should go with Pierce. I never would have made the connection with Prince Albert, and even when you bring it up, it still seems far fetched to me. I think Pierce Adcock would be a wonderful name for your son, especially if you both love it.

StephLove said...

I forgot about Pierce when I posted before. I'd put in another vote for keeping it. I don't really see Prince Albert in Pierce Adcock.

Alexis said...

I am loving these suggestions - please keep them coming! I will say that I'm hugely glad that we may just have dirtier minds than other people when it comes to the name Pierce for our little guy. Put together with Adcock, which can be a tricky last name to work with, it gives us pause, since 'Prince Albert' is a nickname given to the piercing of a male body part.

Based on your comments, though, Pierce is back in the running.

Thank you, everyone - this is really helping.

Hillary said...

I love Miles Douglas

The Mrs. said...

Archer Douglas Adcock
Archer James Adcock

Emerson & Archer


What a perfect name! It's strong and masculine (and somehow nimble). You can't go wrong. I'm so impressed with your good taste!

Best wishes to you all!

christine said...

Oh, I would have totally laughed at Pierce Adcock. Although probably not until high school where hopefully he would be smoldering and popular, otherwise, I'm going to vote no. I like Archer. Depending on how willing you are to remind people of a lit class, I like Langston, and doubt it will be used as a girl's name.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

@ Alexis, I got the "Prince Albert" thing right away, and I thought I was the one with the dirty mind since no one else seemed to get it! I think kids of his generation will be more likely to know what that is. Not to mention the last four letters of your surmane spell the very body part in question!!! I too am trying to name a little boy right now and am having a lot of the same problems. My motto, "Better safe than sorry!"

Anonymous said...

I do like the name Arlo but you should know that I know of several girls named Arlo (or Arlow, Arlowe, etc.) That said, if you already have one son with a name used for girls, they're both neutral enough that it could work as a theme if you're open to that sort of gender-indistinction. And it works really well with both Emerson and the middle name James. If not, I like Elliot and Miles. Both sound really great with Emerson, and I like Elliot James and Miles Douglas.

Jess said...

Hi, Alexis -

Yup, I got the Prince Albert connection even before I got to the end of your statement in your initial email. That's a no-brainer... choose another name.

I see that Miles is in the lead of the votes. Given that Miles is a noun and you have that unfortunate other noun in your last name, I read that name as "MILE-SAD-COCK." When reading the other names that could spell out RAD-cock or (eeks!) TAD-cock, I don't even notice. I'd stay away from the SAD-COCK. (oh, you could take that so many ways... appropos for this post, tho)

Oh, Arlo is close to Harlowe, a girl's name. Just something to keep in mind.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I voted for Griffin but I like Miles too. Douglas is the best for middle name for both of those too!

Anonymous said...

I know little girls named Auden and Archer!

KMW said...

I think Archer James or Whitman James would be my choice for you.

Emerson & Whitman
Emerson & Archer

Love them both!!

Patricia said...

"SAD COCK" didn't occur to me when I voted for Miles Adcock. But now that I hear it, I want to change my vote...except (Any name) JameS adcock or (Any name) DouglaS adcock gives the same result for the full name. If a name ending in S is a concern with Adcock, another middle name should be used.

A first name ending in a vowel, like Milo Adcock, might sound best with your surname, eg. Milo Elliott Adcock or Milo Jameson Adcock.

Meg said...

I don't get the Prince Albert/Pierce Addock link at all and I lived in Europe for many years. I don't think that should be a concern at all.

PipersMom2009 said...

I like Archer James! My husband and I loved the name Archer, but it sounded horrible with our last name. I think it goes with with your middle name choices and last name!

Anonymous said...

I know girls named Arlo, Griffin, and Elliot(te). And Auden is in the running for a name for my daughter, though I'll admit I run in a crowd that's more into gender-bending names than you raverage population.

If you want to avoid all names that might go girly, I'd go with Archer, Everett, Whitman, or Miles. Of these, Archer and Everett are my favorite. Good luck!

caroline said...

I really like Whitman, but you could use Walt as well - a great name, very male, still ties in the literary connection without being SO obvious. Overall, I like:

Auden James Adcock
Auden Douglas Adcock
Walt Douglas Adcock
Archer James Adcock

Anonymous said...

Oh god, do not do Pierce Adcock. You know how in Shakespeare, in order to get the meter right, you sometimes said the last syllable, like "marry-ed" for "married," or . . . "pierce-ed" for pierced"? And then the initials are the same as Prince Albert? No no no. You have other lovely options. Do not make the same mistake that friends of friends did when faced with a similar challenge. (Last name: Pidcock. Name him ANYTHING but Stuart! And yes, the poor kid does go by Stu.)

Patricia said...

Just googled "Prince Albert slang"

Ah, now I get it! Thanks, Anonymous, for explaining why
Pierce Adcock
would not be a good combination.

Suzanne said...

PLEASE don't use Pierce. It doesn't take that dirty of a mind to make the connection (especially with the same initials) and kids in school DEFINITELY will. No no no no no.

(I'm shocked at how many people don't know what a Prince Albert is, but frankly the words "pierce" and "cock" separated by only two letters should have been enough for them to see why you had your doubts")

From your list I really like Archer best. I like Whitman too but as someone above said Emerson and Whitman bring to mind parents who are both college English professors and obsessed with literature.

Swistle said...

Suzanne- I don't think it's ALL that "shocking" that a lot of us are unfamiliar with the terminology of penis-piercing. But I do agree that when some ARE familiar with the terminology, it's probably a good idea to avoid it.

Anonymous said...

If you are trying to avoid gender neutral or names going girl, Auden may not be your best bet. I like Whitman with your last name and with Emerson (like the -son and -man ending connection--> making Emerson more masculine to me)
My second choice would be Griffin.

Steph the WonderWorrier said...

I do have to admit, I was a little surprised that people supported "Pierce Adcock" at all -- not even with this "prince albert" thing, it looks like a p*rn star name off the bat (sorry to say, but it definitely does need to be avoided).

I think Auden might go girly, like others said -- with the popularity of "Audrey" and similar.

I like Griffin and Everett from your list the very best. :-)

Patricia said...

Eliot James Adcock -- you did indeed choose the perfect name for your baby boy! And Emerson and Eliot sound great together, especially with both having a strong literary connection. Congratulations on your new baby boy and your naming skills!