This blog has moved! Please join us over at!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Baby Boy Poyer

Jennifer writes:
I'd love your (and your readers!) help with figuring out a name for our second son. In theory, he's due September 8, but I'm already having contractions, so who knows when he will actually arrive (my first was early). Our last name sounds like Poyer, and unfortunately, my husband and I don't have a lot of overlap in our name tastes. I tend to like uncommon but familiar western names (think Graham, Alexander, or Dominic), whereas my husband likes even more unusual names (Ellis, Anders, or Cyrus).

For our first son, we finessed the issue by naming our son after our fathers, giving him a very common, traditional first name (John) and a Chinese middle name which is essentially unheard of in the States. His nickname, Kue, (pronounced like the letter Q) is based on his middle name.

There are a few characteristics that we do NOT want for a name:
* is currently very popular (e.g., any of the _aydens)
* does not have a good nickname (of course, this is a grey area)
* is not a "real" name (I know this is a grey area too)
* starts with the letter K or the letter Q (due to our first son's name)
* has a strong religious connotation (e.g. Moses)
* is a variant of "John" (e.g. Ian)

The only name we come close to agreeing on is Griffin, but neither of us loves it. My top contender is Graham, but my husband doesn't like it. My husband's top choice is Ellis, but I am not excited about people calling my son El (which makes me think Elle) for short. Other names we've considered but rejected include: Desmond, Everett, Nicolas, and Micah (mine, rejected by my husband) and Linnell, Malkmus, Munro, and Riven (my husband's, rejected by me). Still on the consideration list are: Dominic, Alexander, Anders, Cyrus, but they are all just hanging on by a thread, as we are not too fond of the others' picks.



The name Griffin makes me think of names like Finn, Finian, Flynn. Finian can be used with the nickname Finn, which sounds good with Kue.

Ellis makes me think of Harris or Harrison, with the nickname Harry.

Anders makes me think of Anderson---and now that we have Harrison and Anderson I'm thinking of Nicholson and Everson instead of Nicolas/Everett.

Griffin and Everett make me think of Garrett.

Ellis and Everett make me think of Elliot. There's still the potential "El" problem, especially since there aren't any other good nicknames, but Li/Lee might work as a nickname to fend off El.

Micah and Malkmus make me think of Malcolm. Or Michael, which is so good with John, and perhaps repeat your idea of using a nickname from a middle name?

Cyrus makes me think of Silas and Elias.

Nothing makes me think of Corin, but I think it's good. Or Corbin. Or Gibson. Or Ruben. Or Lennox.

Alexander from your list is the #4 most popular boy name in the United States. Maybe Alec instead? Alistair? Albin? Alan?

Name update 09-09-2010! Jennifer writes:
Lachlan Vincent was born earlier this week! Lachlan was unusual enough for my husband, but common enough (at least, in Australia and Canada) for me, and it sounds similar to my husband's grandfather's name. And Vincent is my grandfather's name. Thanks again to everyone for their input!


♥ Tracy ♥ said...

i knew an ellis who mostly went by the nickname "eli" (EE-lye). if "eli" can be a nickname for elijah and elliot, then why not ellis?

i like ellis graham poyer. :)

StephLove said...

I do think Griffin is a very nice name and if it's what you come closest to agreeing on it might be your name.

I don't think Ellis would necessarily produce the nickname El. My son has a friend named Elias who is either called that or Eli. Eli could be a nickname for Ellis as well, or you could go with Elias or Elian.

Or how about Carson or Dane or Garrett or Garrison or Grant or Lucas or Marcus?

StephLove said...

One more: Merrick

Barb @ getupandplay said...

What about one of these?


Living in Utah, I hear some great "western" names:
Powell (after Lake Powell)

Rayne of Terror said...

I like Flynn a lot. Also Grant. John and Grant is a dashing set of boys.

What about River or Raine? I don't love that my name Rayne is going boy with Rainne or Raine, but oh well. My son's middle name is Ryman and Ry is a nickname. It's a family name for us, but country music fans go gaga when they hear it because of the Ryman Auditorium.

M.Amanda said...

When I read Cyrus, I also thought Silas. Ellis made me think of Emery, but that might get him a nickname of Em, which might get awkward with the Emily/Emma/Emerson girls using it also. Linnell reminded me of Linus, which brings to mind the movie Sabrina, which is always nice. What about Dashiell?

The name Clinton kept popping into my thoughts, also. After thinking for a while how nicely Clint Poyer flowed, I realized it's because of the racecar driver Clint Bowyer. I still like the sound/flow of it, though. Perhaps Cliffton/Cliff would work?

Anonymous said...

I had an Ellis in my 4th grade last year, and he has been at our school several years, I've never heard anyone call him 'El' or any other nn. I don't think it would be a problem.

beyond said...

I like your 'top three' Ellis, Graham, and Griffin. They all have good mn potential too.
Finneas / Phineas
Good luck!

Suzanne said...

I think when people shorten Ellis to "El" it will be in a very familiar way, not in a nickname-y sort of way.
Like, for example, my sister is Carolyn and we call her "Car" (pronounced "Care") but it's just something we do in conversation, not when we're talking about her. And I wouldn't ever introduce her as Car to anyone.

What I'm saying it I really like Ellis.

Megz said...

Uncommon/unusual but not strange, but is nickname-able. Here are some names that come to mind:

Regan (Ray)
Logan (???)
Lincoln (Link)
Martin (Mart)
Vincent (Vinnie)

Ellis makes me think of Ennis, an Irish name.

I really like your choice of Dominic.

Frazzled Mom said...

I like the suggestions of Malcolm, Silas and Grant.

What about Larwence with the nn Lars?

Anonymous said...

Thanks to everyone for all the suggestions! We will definitely update once our son is born and we have decided on a name.


Caitlin said...

Like the first commenter, the first thing I thought of was Eli as a nn for Ellis - sounds like it would fit the Graham/Alexander genre, and satisfy your husband too.

Good luck!