This blog has moved! Please join us over at!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Baby Boy Gottlieb, Brother to Nathan

Laura writes:
Our second son is due on May 9th, and we're having such trouble settling on his name! Our last name is Gottlieb (pronounced Got-Leeb), and our first son's name is Nathan Howard. We almost immediately settled on Nathan and Howard is after my husband's grandfather. If this baby were a girl--and I was convinced it was, based on a dream, completely different pregnancy, and the early ultrasound--her name was going to be Claire Abigail. However, the 20-week ultrasound was emphatically boy, dashing all my pretty pink dreams, and putting us right back on the drawing board.

We've gone back and forth over a lot of names and the front-runner seems to be Eli, but I'm just not sure about it. My husband loves it, but it just doesn't seem "right" to me. I'm not sure I like the sound of Eli Gottlieb (too many eees?), and it just seems so short written out (shouldn't there be more letters?). Also, and this is probably in the way-picky realm, I don't like the reversal of the e & i from the first name to the last. People always reverse the i & e in our last name, and by putting the e first in the first name, I feel like it'll make it worse. It's entirely possible that I'm way overthinking this, so can you and your readers give me a reality check? Does Eli Gottlieb work?

Our other front-runners are Robert and Henry. The baby's middle name will be either Robert or Lawrence after my dad (my maiden name was Roberts, my dad is Larry). Unless, of course, I can get my husband to agree to Robert as a first name, and then it will be Robert Elias.

We're open to other names, here's some that we've considered and tabled:
Tobias (nn Toby)
Josiah (my all-time favorite, soundly rejected by hubs)
Lloyd (I had to give up Josiah to get this one off the list, husband still doesn't understand why I hate it)

We're pretty squarely in the "Timeless" section of the Baby Name Wizard, but I've looked through that list so many times and nothing jumps out at me anymore. So, I guess what I'm really looking for is some other opinions on Eli Lawrence, or to see if there's anything out there that I'm missing.

Thanks so much for your help!

I think what might be called for here is a longer name with Eli as the nickname. I notice you like Josiah and Micah and Noah---do you like Elijah? And you like Tobias; do you like Elias? Both of those take care of any extra-E problem for me.

Or there's Ian: similar levels of E-sound, but without the e-i problem, and without an L and a second strong vowel sound. But maybe Nathan and Ian is too much -an.

Lloyd + Elias brought the name Louis to mind. I love it with Gottlieb and with Nathan. Maybe Louis Roberts Gottlieb.

Or Frederick? Frederick Gottlieb; Frederick Lawrence Gottlieb; Nathan and Frederick.

Or Edmund? Edmund Gottlieb; Edmund Roberts Gottlieb; Nathan and Edmund.

Or Daniel? Daniel Gottlieb; Daniel Lawrence Gottlieb; Nathan and Daniel.

I'm wondering if it would work to use Roberts (with the original S) as the first name? Not only would it be your actual maiden name, it would fit in well with the other surname names being used now.

I also love both Henry and Simon from your list.

Name update! Laura writes:
Elijah Lawrence Gottlieb arrived at 3:52 pm on April 24, 2011. Many thanks to you and your readers for the advice and suggestions. We went back and forth over various versions of Eli, Elias, and Elijah, but when he decided to be born on Easter Sunday and during Passover (I'm Christian, Husband is Jewish), we knew we had to go with Elijah. We're calling him Eli and are so happy to have him in our family!

Thanks again!


Adey said...

My first thought was to use Elias! Friends of mine named their son Elias and call him Eli half the time and I love it. And I think Elias Gottlieb takes care of the too many "E" sounds and yet you can still call him Eli when you aren't using your last name.

My other favourites of yours are Tobias and Josiah :)

I'd also like to throw Desmond out there ~

Good luck!

Mrs S said...

I like Tobias and Noah from you list.
Nathan and Toby.
Nathan and Noah.

If you do have a girl one day I like the sound of Nathan, Noah and Abigail the best!

brooke said...

How about Silas or Jonah?

Nathan and Silas.
Nathan and Jonah.

Anonymous said...

My friends sons names are Nathan and Elijah (Eli). I think they sound great together!!!

Anonymous said...

I, too, immediately thought of Elias. Elias Henry?I think Elias and Nathan sound great together! My other favorite from your list is Simon.

StephLove said...

I also think the longer Eli names will take care of a lot of you issues. Elian, Elias, Elijah, Elliot. Take your pick. My favorite is Elijah.

Ian and Louis from Swistle's suggestions are nice, as well. And I like using Robert(s) as a middle for any of the names under consideration.

Rachel said...

Your list is already great but here's a few more to think about...

Jonah or Jonas

Good luck!

Christine said...

I love Elias or Eliot Robert Gotlieb, with the nn. Eli. And I think either works with Nathan.

If you like Josiah and Noah, maybe Jonah? Jonah Robert or Jonah Lawrence works.

Good luck!

Joanne said...

I thought of Elias too, in fact I was just talking to a friend of mine who calls her son Eli so much that I thought it was his whole name, but it's Elias. Elias Henry? Elias Daniel?

Mrs S said...

I agree. Jonah would be great!

kimma said...

I have to agree with Swistle here –the first thing I thought when you listed your concerns about Eli was to lengthen it to Elijah, Elias or Elliot and use Eli as the nickname. I personally adore Elijah.

I also love that you would like to use the name Robert after your family. I’m surprised how far out of favor this name has fallen given it is so strong in itself and versatile in terms of nicknames. My favourite is Bobby.

Henry is also great. You can’t miss going for one of these three.

Elle said...

I love Elias, nick name Eli. It solves the repeating e sound, and Nathan and Elias sound great together!

Melanie said...

Can I suggest Liam, similar sound to Eli but a little longer. And it works really well with Nathan.

beyond said...

Yes, since Robert Elias is on your list, switching the order might make sense: Elias Robert. Nathan and Elias make a great pair.
I see someone already suggested Ezra, which I think would be wonderful as well. Or: Gabriel (Gabe), Phineas (Finn), Zachary (Zack).
Good luck!