Our second son is due to arrive on May 11, 2011 and we have everything ready, except for a name. We are in need of serious help. Our first son is named Cedric James. We love Cedric because its unique but not hard to spell or pronounce. It has a strong, masculine name meaning which we also like. James is a family name (my father). For our next son we would like to follow a similar pattern; a first name that has a strong/masculine name meaning, is unique, but easy to say and spell followed by a family name. We have decided on Jack for the middle name, after my husband's maternal grandfather. It has been really hard for us to find a first name that meets the criteria and goes with Jack. I have argued for using John or Jackson as middle names but Husband feels very strongly that the middle name be Jack. Just Jack. Here is where it gets even more tricky, our last name is Wiedlocher (pronounced weed - locker) and we want to be sensitive to the fact that this is a mouthful of a last name and will be constantly mispronounced and misspelled for both boys their whole lives. My name is Laura and my husband's is Zachary.We have a short list of names that we both like: Ethan, Logan, and Landon. But do you notice how they don't really fit our criteria?! Ethan is the only one that has a strong name meaning and all three seem like popular baby names right now.We have also considered: Caden (but does this sound too similar to Cedric? I feel like I would constantly be calling for Cedric but saying Caden. Or the other way around.)Husband likes Ethan the most right now because of the name meaning and how it sounds with Jack, despite it being popular. I don't love it though. I am hoping for a first name that has a softer first syllable because I like how that sounds with our last name, which starts with a hard w sound.If we were having a girl or if our next child is a girl, names that we love are Emelia (Emma), Elizabeth (Lizzy), and Charlotte (Charlie).I have been diligently reading your blog for months hoping that the right name for our son would serendipitously be suggested by you or one of your readers. I have high hopes that you (and your readers) will be able to suggest name combinations that we had not considered or at least weigh in our top three choices.Thank you so much for your help!
Here is something I've noticed in previous posts where the desired middle name was Jack: something about that particular name makes a "Panama Jack"/"Indiana Jones"/"Crocodile Dundee" sound with the first name. The first name ends up sounding like an adjective for Jack, which then sounds like the first name. I know your husband feels strongly about this, but I'd say it's one of the main things blocking you from finding The Right Name, and I'd add my opinion to yours that he reconsider this. Could the middle name be after his father instead, to better parallel your first son's name? Was his grandfather's name John, and Jack a nickname? (Though of course if his grandfather always went by Jack, the name John may not seem like him at all.) Are there other family names that could be used instead?
Well. It sounds like the middle name is fixed as Jack, so I'll proceed with that assumption. When/if you feel like you're backed into a corner trying to meet certain criteria, remember that the name only needs to fit your criteria if YOU TWO want it to fit the criteria: if a name you love fails to fit in one area or another, you can choose to decide not to hold the name to that requirement. Criteria can help to narrow things down---but when your criteria are outranking your opinions, it's time to rethink. And now I will say criteria some more, because five is not enough for one paragraph: criteria criteria criteria.
Caden and Cedric do have a lot of things in common (start with C, two syllables, D-sound in the middle), but to me their style clash is intense: Caden/Cayden/Caiden/Caeden/Kaden/Kayden/Kaiden/Kaeden is modern and part of the trendy Jaden/Hayden/Aiden/Brayden set, while Cedric is old fashioned and rare.
And you're right: Landon (#36 in 2009), Logan (#17 in 2009), and Ethan (#2 in 2009) are all significantly more popular than Cedric (#702 in 2009). (All stats from The Social Security Administration.) So let's go questing for some new possibilities.
Alan Jack Wiedlocher; Cedric and Alan
August Jack Wiedlocher; Cedric and August
Conrad Jack Wiedlocher; Cedric and Conrad
Darian Jack Wiedlocher; Cedric and Darian
Franklin Jack Wiedlocher; Cedric and Franklin
Gideon Jack Wiedlocher; Cedric and Gideon
Isaiah Jack Wiedlocher; Cedric and Isaiah
Karl Jack Wiedlocher; Cedric and Quincy
Louis Jack Wiedlocher; Cedric and Louis
Malcolm Jack Wiedlocher; Cedric and Malcolm
Quincy Jack Wiedlocher; Cedric and Quincy
Roland Jack Wiedlocher; Cedric and Roland
Rufus Jack Wiedlocher; Cedric and Rufus
Ryland Jack Wiedlocher; Cedric and Ryland
Stanley Jack Wiedlocher; Cedric and Stanley
Terrence Jack Wiedlocher; Cedric and Terrence
Tobias Jack Wiedlocher; Cedric and Tobias
I'm not very knowledgeable about name meanings. In part this is because so many meanings are more like..."meanings." They vary from baby name book to baby name book: one of my name books says Cedric means "model of generosity" and another says it means "battle chieftain" and another says it was made up by an author for a novel in 1819 and doesn't mean anything. Very few meanings are official in any sense: some come from what someone in the Bible said the name meant (but what did the name mean before that?); some come from the meaning the name would have as a word in another language, if it were a word instead of a name; some come from a baby name book author's imagination. Many come from such a long stream of related names and their derivations ("sounds like X, which is a shortened version of Y, which is a version of the name Z from another language, which comes from the root word for..."), there's almost no connection at all. (I've written more on this subject here: Baby Naming Issue: Name Meanings and Baby Naming Issue: A Problem With a Name's Meaning.)
However, name meanings are important to YOU, and so it doesn't matter if they're important to me or not, and so I'm using The Oxford Dictionary of First Names and The Baby Name Bible to look up the meanings of the names on my list above.
Alan: possibly from the word "rock"; handsome, cheerful
August: great, magnificent; majestic, venerable
Conrad: bold counsel; bold advisor
Darian: rich, kingly
Franklin: freeman; free landholder
Gideon: he who cuts down; feller of trees
Isaiah: God is salvation
Karl: free man
Louis: renowned warrior
Malcolm: devotee of Saint Columba
Quincy: estate of the fifth son
Roland: famous throughout the land
Ryland: island meadow
Stanley: near the stony meadow
Terrence: [no known meaning]
Tobias: God is good
Name update! Laura writes:
Thanks so much for your help. You and your readers helped Zach and I get around our baby name road block. We moved past Logan/Ethan as name choices and thought we would go for either Roland or Nolan. But then last Wednesday (May 11) when our son was born we both looked at him and felt like neither of those names fit him! Zach came back to the hospital the next morning with the name Elias, nickname Eli and I loved it. Cedric James is now the proud big brother to Elias Jack.