I'm due in about 7 weeks and we're still undecided about number three's name. He will be Adam and Naomi's little brother. I'm Karen and my husband is Dion. Our last name sounds like "Lou." This is in all likelihood our last child. *sniff*. We have two front-running names but they both break one of my "rules:" that the kids' names not sound like ours, so as to prevent confusion, especially since my husband's hearing is not great. But maybe some rules were made to be broken?
John - this has been the leading contender for most of my pregnancy and we both really like it. It's a good name and a strongly family name for me. However, Dion is more concerned about the similarity to his name because confusion is likely to be with him, the one with poor hearing after all. I don't like Jack; John would be John. But are John and Dion too similar for one family?
Aaron - I've always liked this name but never considered it because it broke the similarity rule. I mentioned it off-hand recently and Dion said that he likes it, too. He's not very concerned about confusing Aaron and Karen, mainly because it wouldn't often cause confusion for him, just for us. I'm also thinking about John Aaron, possibly going by Aaron. Going by a middle name is very common in my family. In fact, Naomi is actually Margaret Naomi. But are Aaron and Karen too similar for one family?
I guess my main question is: John, Aaron, or back to the drawing board?
Our taste is typically "biblical - but not just biblical". Here are some other names we've considered in the past, though I wouldn't necessarily rule them out this time either.
Simon - was a backup name for Adam.
Gabriel - was also a backup name for Adam.
Jonah - was going to be Naomi's name until the day she was born, when we found out she was a girl.
Benjamin - was a backup name for Jonah.
James - was a also backup name for Jonah.
P.S. I cut out this next part because I felt the query was getting too long [note from Swistle: I thought the postscripts were really good so asked Karen if I could leave them in] but here's how strongly John is a family name for me:
My brother is John Ian, father is John David, and grandfather was John Norman, though they go/went by Ian, David, and Jack respectively, exactly so as to prevent confusion. It goes back at least seven generations. My brother will likely never have kids and even if he does, we both agree that it would be just fine if there were more than one John in the next generation. I also have a cousin John on my father's side and twin aunts Jean and Joan on my mother's side.
P.P.S. Again because it was getting too long... I know John and Dion don't seem very similar but when I say John, the J can sound like Dzh or Dsh, which can sound like d-YUH, which makes JOHN sound like dee-YON. I'm not a linguist, so I dunno, maybe this is just a regional thing. We're Canadian.
Boy, I really want to push you to use John. I love that name, and I love the sibling group of Adam, Naomi, and John. But your husband is the best judge of whether it will present an auditory problem for him. Would he be willing to accept the occasional confusion (if it WOULD only be occasional), in order to get the name you both love? It seems like it might be at the same level of hassle as other things (a second middle name, a Jr., etc.) we sometimes decide to accept because it's worth it for other reasons.
Oh, dear, I have just had a thought. "John" is slang for bathroom. So is "Loo." I wonder if this is well-known enough to cause problems.
Naming him after your brother might work. Ian Lou; Adam, Naomi, and Ian.
Or after your dad: David Lou; Adam, Naomi, and David.
Would it help to use Jonathan instead of John? Jonathan Lou; Adam, Naomi, and Jonathan.
The first confusion I noticed with the name Aaron was Adam: I realize everyone is going to be different about this, but I would have trouble remembering which boy was which. For scale, I have the same problem if a family has a Matthew and a Michael, or if I'm reading a book with a David and a Daniel. It's not that the names are SO SIMILAR (because they're not, and I wouldn't expect someone else to find them too similar), but something about them creates a problem in my mind. Same number of syllables and/or same approximate length, same first letter, similar associations. With the additional problem of rhyming with Karen, this name would be off my own list---but as usual with this sort of thing, that doesn't mean I'd say it should be off yours. Many, many other people would say "What? Adam and Aaron aren't ANYTHING alike!"
From your list of other possibilities, my favorite is James. I like the subtle repeating M sound in all three names: Adam, Naomi, and James. I like Benjamin for this same reason, but between the two I prefer James for visual length. I also like Simon for both M-sound and length.
A possibility you've likely already considered is Joshua. Joshua Lou; Adam, Naomi, and Joshua. Joshua is similar in some ways to Jonah, but more mainstreamed (and with more diluted associations) like Adam.
Name update! Karen writes:
Thanks again for posting my naming question! Your and your readers' comments definitely helped me make up my mind. From then on, I started leaning more and more towards John. We briefly discussed names on the ride to the hospital, since we hadn't exactly pinned one down, but we still didn't come to an agreement quite yet. I knew immediately after he was born that his name was going to be John, though I knew Dion wasn't completely sold. In my mind, he was born and his name was John. End of story (almost.) I told (yes, told) Dion that he could choose a middle name if he wanted a J.P. or J.J. or something or if he thought that "just" John was too ho-hum or too grown-up for a baby. But I pointed out that Jay is a good nickname for a baby John and that I was perfectly happy to continue the pattern that the boys - he, Adam, and John - have no middle name but that Naomi and I do. And that was all the persuading I needed to do. And, really, how much persuading does any woman need to do in the labour and delivery room? Dion decided that he'd used all his baby-naming mojo with Naomi, so, John it is. Dion still isn't sure how we'll say John in that boy-are-you-in-trouble tone but adding the last name always helps, no? Thanks again!