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Friday, December 10, 2010

Baby Boy or Girl J_______ss

Somer writes:
We're expecting our first child the first week of January (due date is 1/6/11). We don't know whether it's a boy or girl, but quite truthfully we're comfortable with our girl names and are truly struggling with boy names. And, we're both convinced it's a boy - go figure!

Just for informative purposes, we're pretty certain that the girl name will be Ruby Marie. We both love Ruby because it's simple, classic and not too popular or too out there (plus it's my birth stone:). The middle name is my grandmother's name and my husband's grandmother was Mary, which wouldn't go with Ruby (ends in Y), so Marie is a good mix and a solid middle name (we think). Other possibilities we have for a girl include: Stella, Penelope, Olive, Mia or Camilla (calling her Milly, though I'm not huge into naming one name with the intention of calling the baby something else).

Our last name is pretty long. When spoken properly, it's three syllables. Begins with a J and ends in ss. So, that basically nixes anything ending in an S.

Even without knowing the gender, we get asked about the name all the time. I think this is what's causing us our boy name trouble. We both really love Winston. But, mostly everyone that we've told hates the name. My Mom says it reminds her of the cigarettes, some say they know yappy dogs by that name and others say it's pretentious (among other critiques). It's definitely still on the top of the list - the front runner - but something inside me is not quite 100% sure. If it's a boy and we go with Winston, the middle name will be James. That's my husband's middle name and his father and grandfathers' as well. Plus, it sounds nice together. Other possibilities that we have for boy are: Oscar (my husband loves, but I'm not sure), Liam (my husband loves, I'm not sure), Milo (I like, my husband doesn't), and Oliver (we both like). There is one more thing.'s a boy and IF...he happens to come on January 9 (which is possible with a January 6 due date), then that would be my grandfather's 100th birthday and I would LOVE to use at least one of his names (plus it's the same name as my Dad) - Norman or Cornelius.

So, that's where we are with our baby naming issue. Any help, suggestions, or advice is greatly appreciated.

Thanks so much.

Oh, now I am all excited for a baby boy to be born on January 9th! Wouldn't that be FUN?? I might use either of the names as middle name---or, and I think this is more likely, I'd use both: [First name, whatever you choose] [Norman Cornelius] [Surname]. This lets you dramatically increase the namesakey impact without having to use the name(s) in the first name slot. And in my own experience, two middle names isn't too much of a hassle.

Winston does make me think slightly of cigarettes (or, more accurately, of a handsome rugged man on a horse in a cigarette ad), but only a little bit, and only because I haven't yet known a little boy named Winston. For me a far stronger association is Winston Churchill, and I've had a crush on Winston Churchill ever since seeing a musical version of one of his speeches. Yappy dog versus "Lift up your hearts, all will come right"? No contest.

But if it continues to seem not quite right, I suggest Winslow. It has much of the same sound, but softer and no associations with cigarettes or with British politicians, and it goes well with Ruby in case you later have a girl. Weston would work, too, though it seems to me it drifts away from your style. Maybe Warren? Wilson? I seem to be getting hung up on W names. Oliver is another of my long-standing favorites, and it too would go very well with a potential future sister named Ruby.

I also suggest not telling anyone the name until the baby is born and they'd have to state their objections to his soft little newborn cheeks.

Name update! Somer writes:
Hi there - thanks so much for your input and help with our baby name (posted December 10). Our baby boy (we guessed it) came a week early and was born on December 30 at 7:26am. We actually had gotten the name from Winston as in Churchill - I forgot to mention that my husband is British - and we ended up going with Winston James. We're even going to put some famous Winston Churchill quotes on his bedroom wall. Like you said, once he was here, nobody really cared about the name; people now even say they like it. Perhaps Norman or Cornelius will find their way into a future child's name.


kimmyblair said...

I would just like to input that my dog is named Winston (he's a rescue and it's the name he came with) and he is not yappy at all!

Elle said...

First, to Somer, I just want you to know what Winston doesn't make me think of cigarettes, that I don't know any yappy (or otherwise) dogs by that name, and I absolutely do not think it's pretentious. More like gorgeous! (But Oliver is also great.)

Second, to Swistle, I am in the middle of reading Herman Wouk's Winds of War and that Winston Churchill video is AWESOME. Definitely sets the mood to get me through the last 350 pages. :) Thanks for sharing!

Third, to the... well, to the ether, my word verification is "tamosup" and now I think I must go make tomato soup. Mmmmmmmm.

Hope T. said...

My association with the name Winston is the musician George Winston. Beautiful music starts wafting through my mind as soon as I hear the name.

I don't know anything about cigarettes and in my dh's large family if the kids and dogs did not share names there would be no names left. (I'll just throw in a vain wish that Fluffy and Spot would come back into use as pet names.)

I am ashamed that I did not think of Churchill until Swistle pointed it out, since this very morning I went down to the basement and the first thing my eyes fell upon was a biography of Winston Churchill that I did not know we had!

I hope you can block out the nay-sayers and go with the name you love!

Anonymous said...

From your list of other names, I like Oliver and later if you had a girl, Ruby and Oliver would be cute. Esp. NN Ollie, Ruby and Ollie! Chiche yes, but WAY cute!

I think the two middle names is a good idea, perticularly with Winston. Sounds SO dignified. However, I think Cornelius is a very cool name. You could always give him a simple NN of Lee.

I think going in the W dirrection was right Swistle... With a name like Winston, one of the first thing I hear/think is that heavy W and the over all sound that gives a name. I Love Wilson and think it could serve as a great sub for Winston without the dog/cig association.

Karen L said...

I think Winston is a nice name and is great with Ruby. There will be naysayers for every name. Ignore them.

There is also Winton or Wynton - like Wynton Marsalis, which is a positive association for me. Winton seems to be the standard spelling. Winton cuts down the s in Winston J----ss, which could be a plus or a minus, depending on if you like the alliteration/tie.

There is also Winfield, Winford, and Windell. All these Win- names are of the same vintage as Ruby. I also like Oscar or Oliver with Ruby.

If it is a girl born on your grandfather's 100th, I wouldn't be able to resist a tribute with Norma or Cornelia or maybe even Cora, which fits your style. Cornelia is quite pretty; I like it much more than Cornelius.
Ruby Cornelia J---ss
Ruby Cornelia Marie J---ss
Cora Marie J---ss
They all sound lovely.

Elisabeth said...

If you love Winston, go ahead and use it. No matter what existing associations your friends and family have with the name, those will be replaced with the image of your little boy.

If you still want to keep exploring other options, I wholeheartedly agree with the previous positive comments about Oliver. It's a great name. Here's some other names that go with Winston/Ruby/Oliver:


Katie said...

I like Winston. Maybe Weston?

From your list I also like Oliver. And I agree with Swistle on the double middle name.... my sons have two middle names and I love it.

And Ruby is just adorable. Good luck to you!

StephLove said...

My usual position is you should go with what you love, which in this case would be Winston, and I stand by that here. I do like Wilson as a substitute, though, a lot of similar sounds. And Oliver is a great name, too.

The Mrs. said...

Ruby and Oscar? YES!! Classic, interesting, original. Very balanced -one is incredibly feminine- the other is totally masculine.

Otherwise... I really hope if you have a boy, he's born on the 9th! Norman is like finding a chunk of sterling amoung a dusty pile of Jayden-Caden-Aidens.

BEST of wishes to all three of you!!

Anonymous said...

Ruby Mae is beautiful.

Winston James sounds very distinguished. I like it a lot!

Should he be born on the 9th I like James Cornelius a lot. Or what about Neil to honor your grandfather, it's from Cornelius and isn't common at all I think. Neil James sounds really nice imo. If it's a girl born on the 9th, I think Ruby Mae Cornelia would also be a beatitful name.

mixette said...

Agree with everyone else re: Winston - I like it a lot, and use it if *you* love it. Someone will always have their own prejudice when faced with "just a name" vs. the BABY named Winston. And Win is a really cute nn.

For some reason when I read Oscar, the name August came to mind as a name with the same feel.

And keeping fingers crossed for 1/9 - that would be so cool. Good luck and best wishes!

christine said...

Oh Ruby Mae Cornelia (or Cordelia - or is that too much of a stretch?) and Winston (or Weston; Easton; Wesley?) Norman Cornelius, or Winston James Cornelius.

Simply awesome.

kimma said...

Whatever you choose as a first name and no matter what the date of his birth I think it would be wonderful to honour your grandfather. I would go with the double middle name James Norman myself.

Laura V said...

"I also suggest not telling anyone the name until the baby is born and they'd have to state their objections to his soft little newborn cheeks."

SO true. We mentioned one of the names we were considering to my MIL and got slammed, bigtime, by her negative reaction. After that we shut up, particularly since the front-running boy's name was, in addition to being the name of my husband's grandfather, the name of one of my exes that my family had hated.

If I'd mentioned it to any of them, there would have been a ruckus! But after he was born, the only reaction was affectionate cooing. Worked like a charm. :)

chakrateeze said...

Side note: Winston is John Lennon's middle name. So, if you like the Beatles...!

Patricia said...

I'm glad you went with Winston James. It's a grand name, particularly with the connection to Winston Churchill -- very special for your little British American boy -- and also carrying on your husband's family tradition of James as the middle name. Thanks for letting us know what you named him. Congratulations!