I've been reading your blog for quite some time but never thought I would find myself in this predicament. Yet here I am! My husband and I are expecting our first baby, a boy, on April 1st. Yes an April Fool's baby! We have some name ideas but are not feeling very confident in any of them. We like unique names (doesn't everyone?) but at the same time don't want people to wonder what the heck we were thinking... Because of our surname, the first name probably shouldn't end in an "s".
Our list includes:
- Oliver: My husband and I both really like this but I feel like it's rising in popularity very very quickly. My husband is probably favoring this name the most out of our list. It sort of reminds me of Cousin Oliver from the Brady Bunch though. Also, is it too English/pretentious sounding?
- Hazen: This name doesn't appear on any baby name list. This one has a special association for us. The day we were engaged we went to Hazen's Notch (a trail/state park) in Vermont. We thought the name was so unique and said that if we ever had a son we would name him this. Now I think we're both wondering if it's too out there/weird?
- Matteo: I like it, husband only likes the nickname Teo but not the full name.
- Matthias: I like, husband sadly hates.
- Luca: A name we considered for a very long time but ultimately we started envisioning it more on a girl.
- Lucas: I really like this name but it ends in an "s" which would run into our last name. Not to mention it's extremely popular.
- Tobias: We love the nickname Toby but the full name reminds us of the character from Arrested Development.
Other than the above list, we are lost! So with that said, what do you think? Any suggestions? We're also stumped on a middle name although I think Oliver Hazen has a nice ring to it. Swistle please help! I'm a super indecisive person struggling with naming a human being. Not a pretty combo. I'm so afraid to give this little boy the wrong name that I can't commit to anything! Thanks in advance!!!!
Still no name for our baby but I am starting to strongly consider Luca again. I'm just afraid that it would be seen as too feminine despite being a boy's name. I don't want him to deal with "but that's a girl's name!" growing up and I know this is a possibility considering my husband and I were definitely thinking of using that name if we were having a girl as well. My husband's family is from the town named Lucca in Italy so it is a nice connection for us. Thoughts?
Still totally lost and with just over 5 weeks to go, I'm trying to hold myself back from breaking into full out panic mode.
In one of those interesting baby name coincidences (as when a child is named Isadora to avoid being Isabella M., and then there happen to be two Isadoras and no Isabellas in her class), I know a little boy named Hazen. He's been in several classrooms with one of my sons, starting in preschool, so I've had some time to form an impression of the name. My impression is that it definitely works (the -en ending helps it to blend in with other such names), but that it's good to have a story for why it was chosen---which you have, as do the parents of the Hazen I know. Last year, according to the Social Security Administration, 36 boys and 5 girls were named Hazen. I'd be a little concerned that the rising popularity of the name Hazel (as well as to a lesser extent the name Haven) will affect the perceived femininity of the name Hazen.
If you like Matteo but your husband only likes Teo, I wonder if you'd like Theo? It's given as a stand-alone name, but you could also use Theodore. You might also like the name Milo, or the name Leo, or the name Nico, or the name Hugo.
I know that Luca is a boy name---and yet, it sounds and looks feminine to me. It reminds me of an issue we recently discussed: that certain traditionally male names (Noah, Micah) have sounds and endings that would make them girl names if they weren't boy names by long tradition---and some of these names are rising for baby girls, including Luca (72 new baby girls named Luca in 2009, up from 58 in 2008, up from only 19 in 2001 and 6 in 1999). I would avoid Luca because of this---especially with the popularity of the name Lucy enforcing the feminine look.
If you like Toby but want to avoid Tobias, I wonder if you'd like Tobin. Or Corbin.
Oliver is one of my own favorite boy names. I think it has a pleasingly British sound. It's true, though, that it's rising in popularity. Maybe you would like another of my favorite boy names: Simon. I think it has a similar style, but it's hanging around in the 250s without moving much. The repeating-S initials might not be ideal, however.
Perhaps Ian? It's such a great name, and it's been pretty stable: in the Top 100, but not rising.
Or maybe you would like Frederick, or Franklin, or George? I think these get overlooked, and yet they fit in nicely with the Olivers and Henrys.
And if you really want something different, I suggest John. It FEELS like it's so overused, and yet...I've run into as many children named John as named Hazen. This experience doesn't line up with the statistics, but I think it was my friend Mairzy who speculated that this is because many boys named John are namesakes who go by a different name.
Name update! Adrienne writes:
Apologies it's taken SO long for me to send an update. After much fretting and list writing of pros and cons for each name, our precious baby boy made his grand debut into the world after a harrowing induction on March 29th. I waivered on his name for a moment as he was born to David Bowie's "Young Americans" (a favorite artist of mine for years) and almost thought we should give him Bowie as a middle name. My husband brought me back to reality though and after a couple hours of studying his face, Oliver Hazen just clicked for us. My sweet Oliver has given us so much joy these last 6 months and though I do see that his name is becoming more and more popular...it just fits him so perfectly.
Thanks for all the help!