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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Baby Boy __arker

Tori writes:
My fiancee and I are expecting our first child, a boy, in September and though I know we still have lots of time to decide on a name for him I am a little embarrassed to say, I'm stressing out already! The problem is that my fiancee and I were really hoping for a girl, so we'd been focusing all our attention on creating a list of baby GIRL names we love. Because of this, our list of BOY names is non-existent and I feel completely lost and without direction.

In the beginning, I liked biblical names like Noah, Luke and Isaiah, but my fiancee doesn't want to go the biblical route so now I really don't know where to turn. There are, however, a handful things I'm sure of and they are:

1. Though we won't be married when the baby comes, he will take my fiancees last name, which begins with a P and rhymes with Marker.

2. I don't want his first name to end with the er sound because it sounds too much like his last name.

3. His middle name will be a Hawaiian. We are both Hawaiian and live in Hawaii where it is common for most people (even those who aren't Hawaiian) to give their children Hawaiian names. His will be Kaleomalino; 5 syllables, meaning "The calming voice."

4. On the subject of sound I've decided that a single syllable first name sounds the best when said with both his full name and with just his last name.

5. My fiancee wants a name that is strong, masculine and "boss-like" and I'd like something that I can best describe as not unheard-of but not too popular.

So, with all of that being said, this is the short list of names we've come up with: Brock (or Brocke), Vance, Ace, Gabe, and Cash (or Kash.)

Brock/e is the front-runner and I really like the way it looks with the e at the end, but want some opinions on that spelling. Vance is the second runner-up which I think fits my criteria of not unheard-of but not too popular. I think Ace is cute and different but I worry it might be too quirky and therefore not "boss-like." We've both loved Gabe for a long time (shocking for my fiancee since he nixed all my other biblical suggestions) but i wonder if you'd know whether or not it's appropriate to just name him Gabe and not Gabriel, which I don't like as much as Gabe. And C/Kash is just so-so but one of the better one-syllable names I found.

It'd be great if you could give your input about the names in our list and add more you think would appeal to us. We're open to any and all suggestions, even multi-syllable ones, and I just want to reiterate that what I mostly need is some direction!

With an -er surname, I think one of the trickiest parts is preventing the first name and surname from merging to make what sounds like a single occupational name, even a nonsensical one (Paigeturner, Cashpacker, Brantpacker).

I think if I were going to use Brock(e), I would spell it without the E to reduce its similarity to Brooke. Also, the Brocke spelling first hits my mind as if it might be pronounced "broke" or "brock-ee" or "broke-ee"---whereas Brock is immediately clear to me. But I find Brock _arker hard to say (and it might fall into the Cashpacker category), so I'm not sure I'd use it in any spelling.

Vance _arker, Ace _arker, and Cash/Kash _arker sound more comic-book-like/detective-like/action-figure-like/fighter-pilot-like to me than boss-like. The Baby Name Wizard calls them "Macho Swagger" names. They are good, tough, strong, masculine names, and it's hard for me to tell whether that's what your boyfriend MEANS by "boss-like" and I should find more of them for you (my own favorite from that category is the name Dutch, or should I suggest Cage?), or whether I should steer you toward the business suits and conference tables that "boss-like" brings to my mind. And of course the "conference table" names are going to change over the generations, just as other categories of names change (what's Popular, what's Grandparenty, what's Weird, etc.). It's hard right now to imagine a boss named Isabelle, too, but that's only because it's mostly a child name right now, not because the name isn't strong and dignified.

Gabe _arker is the stand-out to me. I can picture telling people I work for Gabe _arker, in a way I can't picture telling them I work for Kash _arker or Ace _arker. If you're worried about using a short form of another name, you could use Gage, which stands alone: Gage _arker. But I've heard Gabe used on its own before, too, just as Jack and Abby are used on their own. Another possibility is Gable, with the nickname Gabe.

If Ace is too whimsical, I wonder if you'd like Jace, or Case, or Chase, or Tace, or Asa, or Brice. Or Abe, which is also like Gabe.

More suggestions that seem to me to be masculine and strong and managerial---yet capable of wearing a business suit without their powerful muscles ripping the seams:


As I think I probably do EVERY time I mention the name John, I urge you not to let it flit through your mind unconsidered. But I think others from the list are a better fit with your style. Grant, maybe? Brent? Dane? I put Saul in there even though it's biblical, just because I like the sound of it so much with your surname.

But you say you're open to other than just one-syllable names, so let's see if we can think of a few of those, too.


Hm, actually there are probably a TON of 2- and 3-syllable names that would work!


Barb @ getupandplay said...

My favorite from your list is Gabe.

When reading your criteria, I immediately thought of Rex. It means "king" and it's sounds strong (for a grown man) but also kind of spunky (for a little boy).

Good luck!

Kit said...

I like Gabe on its own. I also like Cole, Dean and Trent for you. I don't have a hard time saying Brock _arker and I do like the name. Definitely no e on the end of Brock.

Kate said...

"Kash" reads to me like a stripper name, which possibly says far more about me than the name itself, but there you go. "Cash" is a little better but I would still have to repress a raised eyebrow while being introduced. I do like "Gabe" a lot, and Swistle's suggestion of "Gage."

If I saw Brock-with-an-e I'd assume it was the name of a girl.

Karen L said...

I think Swistle suggested everything that came immediately to my mind: Gage, Reid, Jake, Troy. But all of her suggestions are good.

I'd agree, too, that Brocke is "off" and I like Gabe the best from your list.

Anonymous said...

I'm actually having a hard time saying Gabe with the last name. It sounds like Gay Barker to me.

Kate said...

Omg anonymous you are right.

Anonymous said...

Well I was going to vote for Gabe until I say Anonymous' comment. Yikes! Can you say torturous middle school years?

I totally agree w/ Swistle regarding Brock/e. I think this would result in years of spelling and pronunciation correction.

My faves are: Cole and Reid.

Anonymous said...

I agree that your short list doesn't really scream "boss name" to me; it's more of that "manly swagger" style Swistle described in her response. As I read your post I remembered an article I'd just read about the top ten CEO names, so I looked that up and here's what landed on the male list:

1. Peter (I strongly advise against this one, lest your child be plagued with Spiderman jokes until the end of days)

2. Bob (or maybe Rob?)

3. Jack (LOVE with his surname!)

4. Bruce

5. Fred

6. Bill (Or Will?)

7. Ron

8. Christian

9. Alexander

10. Don (Mad Men, anyone? Don _arker? Swoon!)

My favorite, hands down, is Jack. I love Don but I'm not sure that's "in fashion" now, so maybe Daniel, nn Dan?

Anonymous said...

Woops, maybe nix the Bob/Rob idea, too. Bob Barker. Spay and neuter your pets, anyone?

StephLove said...

My favorite from your list is Vance, with Brock (no e) coming in second. I like Gabe as a nn for Gabriel, but not so much on its own. It feels incomplete to me.

I liked the suggestions of Chase, Dane, Gage, Griffin, Rex and Zane.

How about Kent?

Melissa Haworth said...

I immediately thought of Brent and like that for you. I was going to say Grant but stumbled on the noun/verb first name and noun last name (but that's my own personal hang up). I think Grant fits your criteria very well and is a great name.

In an unrelated thought now I hope my daughter, Paige, marries a Mr. Turner and takes his name because that would just be funny :) How did I not think of it before?

vanessa said...

O good one! I don't like Ace, Vance, Cash because they just seem like too much, and if ever lives in the States (you know, the non Hawii-Alaska states...what the hell is the term for that anyway?) I think he'd want a name that's recognizable, because people would have a hard time with his middle. It's a beautiful name tho.

I do know a Gabe P--last name doesnt have the same Marker rhythm, its more...Mollack but I see what you mean about it the name Gabe rolling kind of oddly into a P last name. Not sure it's a bit enough issue, though, and of the names on your list I like Gabe by far the best.
But anyway, other short and strong names I like (I looked at the baby name wizard for this, but i think i must have a different edition than Swistle--mine doesnt have all the same categories! i'm looking most at brisk and breezy)
Brett, Brent, Brice
Cole (Cole Porter might be a problem though)
Gable (gives you Gabe as a nn)
Shea (wizard lists it as Shay, but that seems like a nn for Shayla at this point...I think Shea itself is still boy though)
Jude--love this. total boss name. in fact, that's my pick: Jude Kaleomalino _arker. But I think Gabe works equally well. I also love Luke for you (and in general) but it doesn't sound like that will fly for your DH.
Would he take a longer biblical name in exchange for a short boss name? Like Ezekiel and call him Zeke?
I need an update on this one.And now you all have gotten me thinking about how parents wants for their kids influences baby names...I'm off to blog. Hmm.

Anonymous said...

O I love the suggestion of Brent.

I thought of Dex or Dax. Dex *arker, Dax *arker.

Bryce or Blake
Seth or Cole
Kai or Rhett

Mrs S said...

Brocke Kaleomalino Parker is OK. It has a lot of 'K' to it. Which ,IMO, isn't great. Brocke Parker isn't the greatest.

I too love Gabe from your list. I also like the suggestion of Brice, Jude and Rhys. I really like Finn Parker or Jonah Parker-could use Joe as a nn.

kimma said...

I have to agree with Swistle that I find it hard to imagine taking a guy named Ace or Cash seriously in a business setting (at least on first introduction). However, Ace would be a great nickname to give him as he is growing up – not all nicknames have to be derived from the first name.

From your list I like Vance the best. Not because I have anything against Brock or Gabe – I just find Vance _arker easier to say aloud.

From the suggestions already made my picks would be Dane, Jude, Reid and Zane. I’d also through into the mix...
Rory _arker
Ross _arker
Ty _arker
Zach _arker

Christine said...

I like Graham. It's pronounced as one syllable, it isn't too out there, but then it isn't too common. It works well Graham _arker, and well I like it alone, with the middle, with the last. It's my vote! I like Gabe too, but not after the anon comment above. Too bad your husband won't come around to Luke, since for me at least it doesn't scream biblical like Noah, Jonah, etc. do.

Good luck!

kimma said...

This is a two-syllable name, but I wanted to suggest it anyway … Leroy. Leroy _arker.

It always comes to my mind when people say they’re looking for a strong and masculine name. It means “the king” in French which clearly implies leadership or “alpha male” for your husband’s tastes. It’s also familiar but not popular for your tastes. And I think it’s a style match for Vance and Gabe which you both like.

Missy ~ said...

Other suggestions:


Love the suggestions of Jude, Zeke, and Grant. I like Gage best from your list.

Allison said...

Heh, seeing Graham _arker without the first letter made me think of graham cracker.

The Mrs. said...

Someone above suggested Bruce, and (WOW!) nothing says 'boss name' like BRUCE.

Totally fantastic!

One more idea that I don't think has been suggested yet is Glen. Glen *arker. Adult, suave, and classic. That says 'boss name' to me in a different way than Bruce.

Best wishes on your baby and your wedding!

Jenn said...

Grant! That was the first thing I thought of when reading your description (and Swistle mentioned it too!) I also 2nd the suggestions of Reid and Kent. If you like Vance, do you like Vince? Or Vaughn?

Carolyn said...

My first thought was John. I love it, or Jack would be great too.

Gabe is my favorite on your list, stand-alone sounds perfectly fine, too.

Clarabella said...

Vincent (M)arker.
Vince (M)arker=Boss.

Kas said...

I love the suggestions of Rory and Leroy even though they have 2 syllables!

From your list i like Brock the best! I also like the suggestion of Bryce!!

Can i suggest Max, Blake or Taj all great strong names!

Kelyn said...

I really like your names choices. I like Vance best with your last name. Here's a couple of suggestions that I think might also fit the bill:
Brigg *arker
Vaughn *arker
Good Luck

Alice said...

I like a lot of the suggestions here, but I'll throw one more into the mix. I really like the single syllable nickname of Bram. I think it's manly (think Bram Stoker of Dracula fame) and in its longer form, it has the classic, biblical thing you're after. You could go with Abram or Abraham, and that also gives you the nn Abe if you feel so inclined. I really like Abram Kaleomalino -arker, Bram -arker.

Patricia J said...

My favorite is JACK PARKER. It is a strong name, could be seen as a boss name, and sounds great together. I also like Don Parker. I like Brock too, but agree that adding an "e" makes it look like a girl's name.

Melanie said...

I really like Gabe from your list and otherwise I really like Brice, Grady or Reid.

Anonymous said...

Gabe is perfect! I think it's better on its own (not being a nn). It sounds cute for a toddler but dignified for a boss. Perfect!
(I also think Gus fits that too, but Gabe has the biblical edge and you both like it. Go for it!)

Twee Poppets said...

I totally agree with anonymous above that Gabe _arker is hard to say and ends up sounding like Gay _arker - this was the very first thing that I thought of. If that's what you like the sound of, then I really like Swistle's suggestion of Gage. Gage _arker sounds great, is easy to say, and sounds like one of the rare "macho swagger" names that could work perfectly well for an actual boss. Gage _arker!

Also, another vote for no "e" on the end of Brock. Brocke looks feminine, or like it's pronounced "broke," or simply misspelled. Brock is much better! :)

Jenny Grace said...

I agree with a previous commenter about Rex.

Anonymous said...

Jude is my favourite, especially with your last name. I also like Hugo.