My husband Aaron and I are expecting our second son on October 19, 2011... Which may seem far in the future, but when you have absolutely no idea what his name will be, the due date seems all too soon!
Big brother is Declan River. We settled on his name easily, but it was a total one-off; literally the ONLY name in the baby name book that we both loved.
My style for boys is kind of uncommon/old-fashioned/quirky, with a few surnames thrown in - Leo, Dashiell, Gideon, Sullivan, Beckett, and Jasper are all favorites that my husband has nixed. Aaron's favorites all seem to come from three categories: Irish/Celtic (Keegan, Angus, Tiernan), uber-masculine (Hunter, Gunnar, Stone, Magnus) or extremely popular (Aidan, Noah, Liam).
With Smith as the surname, one of my top priorities is staying away from anything too common. I'd rather not use anything distinctly Irish, since we already have a Declan - it's not the direction I want our set going. We want one more after this baby (three total) and I don't want to be stuck in a rut. And the uber-masculine names just don't appeal to me. At all.
We have agreed on a few names, but he always retracts his agreement within a few days, for one reason or another. This is (was) our short list, all of which are now crossed out:
Archer - Definitely our top name, but is now nixed due to Aaron's fear of the nickname "Archie."
Jonah - My second choice, Aaron liked it for a day, then claimed "it's too soft."
Finn - I was iffy on this one due to both popularity and the flow with a 1-syllable surname
Hudson - Just doesn't feel "right" to my hubby, I can't decide if it's too trendy
Holden - Same as Hudson
At 25 weeks pregnant, we're left with nothing. This would have been much easier if he were a girl, as our styles have more overlap - Annabelle, Georgia, Lila, Violet, and Rosemary were our short list, all of which we both like.
So, Swistle, do you see any obvious compromises that I've missed? Is there any hope of convincing him that Archer won't be called "Archie," or that Jonah is a strong name? Please help!
I know we are avoiding Celtic, but the name that sprang to mind is Aidric. It's similar to Aidan, but way less common. Aidric Smith; Declan and Aidric.
Callum is another Celtic-choice-even-though-we're-supposed-to-be-avoiding-Celtic. What I like about it is I don't think it SCREAMS "Celtic": it's Celtic enough to go well with Declan, but not so Celtic that I think it would be incompatible with non-Celtic names. Callum Smith; Declan and Callum.
Felix is one of my own favorite quirky names, but I'm worried the X blends too much with the S of Smith.
Another favorite is Milo---but I suspect you will like it and your husband won't. Milo Smith; Declan and Milo.
Or Hugo? Hugo Smith; Declan and Hugo.
Another I like is Ruben. Ruben Smith; Declan and Ruben.
Can I talk you into one of my new favorites? Pascal Smith; Declan and Pascal.
I think Archer is such a great choice for you. I think he might indeed be called Archie, but I think Archie is adorable. Perhaps you could still use it as a middle name, where it won't be nicknamed: it's nice with River.
Jonah's main issue is that soft-A ending---used almost exclusively for girls in the U.S., except for biblical names. Jonas is a little better, but it blends with Smith and there are the Jonas Brothers to consider. Josiah, maybe, or is that getting too close to Joseph Smith?
Judah sounds stronger to me, but with the surname it sounds like Judas. Jude Smith works, I think: it's a 1-1 syllable name, but Brad Pitt and Sean Penn carry it well. Jude Archer Smith; Declan and Jude.
Or Judson, nickname Jud if you want it. Judson Archer Smith; Declan and Judson.
Or Griffin. It has the Finn you both liked, but it's longer. It's more common on the Social Security charts (#231 to Finn's #300 in 2010), but I suspect that's a deceptive figure, considering how many people use Finley, Finnegan, Phineas, etc., to get the nickname Finn. (Which you too could use, if you wanted to.) I won't suggest Archer as the middle name for this one (initials), but the middle name slot would be a good place for a name you'd both agree on except for a major issue (i.e., maybe a name you'd both love if it weren't so popular, or if it weren't too Celtic). Griffin Smith; Declan and Griffin.
And I know Finnegan is kind of Celtic, but it seems like a good way to make the name Finn a little longer. Declan and Finnegan is a pretty dashing pair of brother names.
Or Haskell. VERY uncommon, yet feels familiar from it's use as a surname. Haskell Smith; Declan and Haskell.
Name update! Natalie writes:
Our little guy arrived via emergency c-section on October 12, 2011 - although it was very scary at the time, we are both doing wonderfully now. His name, Asher Wesley, fits him perfectly. We have gotten compliments on his name from nearly every nurse and doctor we've seen, and our family and friends have reacted to it very well also. He's 6 pounds, 15 oz, and 19 inches long... seems so tiny compared to his big brother, who was nearly 9 pounds at birth! Big bro Declan (almost 2 years old) is just as head over heels as we are, constantly wanting to kiss his "beebee Ashoo."
Thank you so much for the help in finding the perfect name! I can absolutely say that Swistle and commenters are where we got his name, we may never have settled on it without you all.