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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Baby Girl or Boy Brown

Suzanne writes:
We were delighted to find out that we are expecting our 3rd child. What a great joy! And what a great pain in the rear for picking a name.

Due Date is September 10, 2010 and as with the other two, gender will be a surprise.

Our first two children are daughter Allison Louise and son Peter David. All of our previous “rules” still apply: - No colors, easy to spell & pronounce, 2+ syllables, no cross-gender names, and preferably has a nice nickname option.

Naming this baby is going to be a huge challenge. We only barely came up with Allison’s name in the delivery room. And Peter’s name was a given from the start so we never considered other boy names. What I’m saying is that we are short on ideas. I love the comments your readers gave previously and we are still strongly in favor of Megan and Caroline. I also really love the suggestion of Jenna. Laurel is great but we have a niece Lauren and it’s probably too similar. Someone else suggested Penelope and I really like that (Poppy) but I’m not sure hubby would agree.

We both prefer fairly traditional names and aren’t into trendy or popular. Peter was a perfect choice for us in this regard – easy to spell and pronounce, well known but not overused.

So we have a lot to consider for girls names and I think now we will still need help with a boy’s name since we never even really discussed it.

Boy names we’ve tossed around:



Elliot (hubby doesn’t like it too much)


Jonathan (my father’s name – I love it but wonder if it’s too strange to name after a living grandfather)



Names that are off the table – Benjamin, Owen, Charles, Daniel, Michael, Kevin

We really need some new insight. We’ve been over the girl’s name a thousand times with the prior pregnancies and boys names are a complete mystery.

Thank you so much for your help!

I vote for Jonathan! It's great with Peter and Allison, and I like family names. I have personal experience with naming a child after one of the child's living grandparents and it has worked out GREAT. And perhaps a name from your husband's side of the family for the middle name.


StephLove said...

For boys I like Andrew and Jonathan, maybe together. Andrew Jonathan Brown. Very nice.

For girls, Caroline is my standout favorite, but Megan is my second choice.

I don't know if you need more ideas, but just in case:



Suzanne said...

I love the name Andrew. It's classic, easy to spell and pronounce and comes with two very different nicknames - Andy or Drew - depending on which fits you child better.

Another girl name I like that fits your rules: Susan. It sounds great with Allison and Peter.

Maya said...

I love Jonathan for you children, Allison, Peter and Jonathan is wonderful together. An I don't think it would be a problem nameing him after a living grandparent. Especially with this name, there are many different nickname alternatives. Jon, Jonny, Jona, Nathan, Nate (and probably more I can't come up with now.)
As for a daughter, Caroline would fit in well, as well as Mathilda (Tilda, Tilly), Dorothy, Juliette, Rosemary (Rose), Joanna (Anna), Sylvia, Margrete (Maisie)...
Allison, Peter and Mathilda Brown
Allison, Peter and Dorothy Brown
Allison, Peter and Juliette Brown
Allison, Peter and Rosemary Brown
Allison, Peter and Joanna Brown
Allison, Peter and Sylvia Brown
Allison, Peter and Margret Brown

Elvie said...

I’m answering without reading Swistle’s reply, and will comment again once I’ve read it if it brings up any issues I hadn’t thought of.

Allison Louise, Peter David

Boys’ names :

Of your list, I think Henry, Jonathan and Nathan go splendidly with Allison and Peter.

I don’t think it would be strange to honour a grandfather still living at all. Besides, there are a variety of nicknames he could go by to avoid “Big Jonathan, Little Jonathan” at family gatherings - Jon/John, Johnny, Nathan, Nat, Nate. If you can’t get comfortable with the idea, it would make a great middle name, or you could go with Nathan in first place to honour him. Nathaniel would also do the job, and avoids the repeating N ending with Allison, which may or may not bother you. I will also suggest Evan and Ian as variants of John (Sean and Jack would break your 2+ syllable rule).

For me, Marshall feels very surname-y, and so slips slightly into the current trend for surname names. I haven’t heard it enough for it to feel trendy, but it is less timeless for me than Allison and Peter.

Elliot unfortunately seems to be being used for the girls more and more, so if you are very opposed to cross-gender names then you might want to steer clear of that one. My suggested alternatives are Emmett and Everett, but both were originally surnames (see Marshall). For me, Emmett has shaken this feel off, though.

Eric I’m just not seeing with Allison and Peter, and (I’m fussy) I discounted Andrew because it begins with an A like Allison.

So, aside from Henry, Jonathan and Nathan (and Nathaniel), my suggestions for a timeless brother to Allison and Peter would be :

Christopher (Chris, of course, but also the incredibly handsome Kit)
Edward (Ed, Eddie, Ted, Teddie, Ned, Ward)
Joseph (Joe, Joey, Seph)
Thomas (Tom/Thom)
Timothy (Tim)
William (Will, Wills, Liam, and even Billy and Bill).

As for girls, I love Caroline. Two other names which sprung to mind for you were Gemma and especially Georgia.

A name with a similar sound to Laurel, but not quite so close to niece Lauren’s name, is Lorna.

Good luck! Elvie

The Mrs. said...

What nice taste you have! Allison, Peter... excellent!

Gentlemen's Names:
Phillip (Philip)
and, of course, Jonathan.

A friend of mine was named after her living grandmother and was the envy of all her cousins. The grandmother was so wonderful and beloved. When she was about to pass on, she asked to see her 'namesake granddaughter' because they always shared a special bond... that began with a name.

Ladies' names:
Natalie (Nat or Tallie)
Genevieve (Genna)
Geneva (Genna or Eva)
Carolina (Cara)
Georgia (George... like Nancy Drew's friend... who was a girl)
Amelia (Amy or Mellie or Leah)

Best wishes to all of you as you get ready for the newest little Brown!

beyond said...

LOVE your taste in names. I really like Andrew or Jonathan for you. (And I think honoring living family members is a beautiful thing.) Or perhaps Simon or Lucas?
For a girl. you can't go wrong with Caroline. And I love Penelope too! Or how about Catherine or Miranda?
Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Erik (with a "K") wins for me, probably because it's my brother's name. Great name, easy to spell, and uncommon but normal.

Patricia said...

I love Andrew, but that would give you two children with 'A' names and one whose name doesn't begin with 'A', so I might not chose Andrew because of that. I also love the name Jonathan and think it's absolutely fine to name a child after a living grandparent -- why not?! (We named our first son Edward "Teddy" after my father Ted. I think it's nice for the grandparent to enjoy that special connection.) So I would second the suggestion of Jonathan Andrew Brown.

My other favorite from your boy's list is Henry, and with that you might use Jonathan: Henry Jonathan Brown.

For a girl, I love the classic name Caroline (with the possible nickname Caro or Cara). I also like Megan and Jenna very much with Allison. A family middle name would be nice, especially if Allison Louise and Peter David have a family name among their names.

Best wishes -- and how exciting not to know the baby's gender until the birth-day!

M.Amanda said...

For a girl, I'm on Team Caroline - such a beautiful name. It is actually high on my list should I ever have another girl. I'd also like to offer Cecelia for consideration.

For a boy, nothing wrong at all with naming him after someone who is still living. In fact, I think it makes it more special. Second choice - Andrew.

Anonymous said...

My own name is Caroline Grace and I've always loved it - it's common enough that people recognize it but not so common that I ever had classmates with the same name.

I do, however, have a lot of people call me Carolyn vs. Care-oh-line which I always found aggravating. A lot of people find the names interchangeable, but to me the names are distinctly different: care-oh-LYNN or care-oh-LINE.

All of that said, I still think it's a lovely name!

My girl vote is for Caroline. As for boys, I like Nathan but that will likely be shortened to "Nate" and you said you didn't like the sound of one syllable names with your surname.

I like Jonathan as well but it has the same problem- John Brown probably wouldn't like having the name, as it is so basic AND it has historical ties to John Brown of John Brown's raid. There's even a variant of the old Glory, Glory song with the line "John Brown's body lies a-rotting in it's grave" -not a sweet image for your baby boy! Perhaps as a middle name it will work?

Names I like:

Caroline Brown

Caleb Brown
Ethan Brown
William Henry Brown
Henry Brown
Elijah Brown
Lucas Brown
Edward Brown

I like "Jonathan" and "Alexander" as middle names

good luck!

Frazzled Mom said...

I appreciate your tastes in names, and Peter actually stands out (in a good way) because most parents overlook it today. But I can totally see a little Peter fitting in as well. I named my son Paul, and I was going for a classic that fit in but stood out today. To me, you make a fashion statement by not following the trends. I consider Allison a modern classic - one of those names that is equally popular among our generation and our children's generation, but unheard of among older generations.

I feel most of your list is fine, but I would eliminate Andrew because Peter would be left out and I would eliminate Penelope for a similar reason, Allison would be left out.

When thinking of ideas for you, I looked for either what I call "overlooked classics of the past" (e.g. Peter) or "modern classics" (e.g. Allison, Andrew, Eric, Megan).

Overlooked classics of the past: Stephen.

My son goes to daycare with a Stephen, and I found it surprisingly appealing. He is never Steve, but Stephen. Using Stephen rather than Steven could help avoid Steve. The name’s consistent decline in popularity could also help avoid Steve. With fewer Stephens around to go by Steve, I feel Steve is less assumed.

Modern Classic: The only name I can think of besides what's on your list is Kyle. But Kyle is one syllable so that sort of eliminates it. Kyle would be great for you otherwise.

I really like the suggestion of Susan for a girl (i.e. "overlooked classics of the past).

Frazzled Mom said...

Oh, this other name blog appears to have been abandoned, but I feel, based on your tastes, you will find this post especially helpful:

K said...

Jonathan is a great name! I may be a bit biased - it is my husband's name - but I always think it has such a nice ring to it and I do notice that not many other people go by the full name, which makes the name quite uncommon.